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Full text of "SciFi Now Issue No. 104"

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istssug^ 



Why the knives are out 
for The Fantastic Four 



DC insider on the new 
powers and the new look 



Is it all over for 
Ichabod Crane? 



Under the shroud on 
Crimson Peak 












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ISSUE 104 





















FANTASY FANS WILL LOVE THIS” 




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GET EXCITED ABOUT 
MINIONS 

It seems that there’s no escaping 
the real stars of Despicable Me, 
and indeed the yellow-hued 
servitude-seekers will shortly be 
the stars of their very own film. 
Taking the form of a prequel, 
Stuart, Kevin and Bob (all voiced 
by Pierre Coffin) will follow the 
lead of the brilliantly named 
Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock). 
Also featuring the vocal talents 
of Jon Hamm, Michael Keaton, 
Allison Janney and Steve Coogan, 
this will be the movie you don’t 
mind taking the kids to see. 






Winter isn’t coming: it has already arrived. 

Stepping outside the warming confines 
of genre for a moment, the last decade of 
TV can rightly be looked back upon as a 
golden age, but there’s a very real chance 
that it’s coming to an end. 

The last year has seen Dexter, Breaking Bad, 
Boardwalk Empire, True Blood and The Newsroom 
draw to a close, with Mad Men soon to follow - 
and let’s not forget Utopia and In The Flesh being 
unfairly snuffed out before their time. Thankfully, 
we still have Game Of Thrones left to fly the flag for 



not only fantasy TV, but high-end storytelling 
in general. 

With Season Five approaching, the Iron Throne rat 
race shows no sign of letting up. Players are entering 
and exiting the game at a rate of knots, and with the 
trailer promising the biggest departures from George 
RR Martin’s books yet, you can be sure that no one is 
safe, and nothing is sacred. 

It’s a credit to the show’s creators that even with 
some of television’s most talented thesps on the 
way out, the collective ensemble is still one of the 
strongest seen in recent memory. You will be pleased 



to hear, therefore, that we managed to speak to 
said cast, the fruits of which you will discover in this 
very magazine. 

Elsewhere, geek king Joss Whedon himself spills 
all on Avengers: Age OfUltron - only the sequel 
to the third-highest grossing film of all time, no 
less - talking Quicksilver, 

Scarlet Witch, The Vision 
and more. 

Winter’s here, but 
the cold never bothered 
us anyway... 



Steve Wright 
Depuly Editor 



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SdFNOWl 003 




Jim Parsons on 
the animated ET 



SLEEPY HOLLOW , 

Ichabod Crane 
soeaks 



AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON 



Joss Whedon tells all on the year’s biggest film 






12 ■ ^ ^ m ' 

CINOERELLA THE VOICES ' JOHN CARPENTER 54 

The cast talk fairy tales Ryan Reynolds goes feral Behind the scenes OUTLANDER 



GOmENIS 



EVERY ISSUE 

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PORTAL 

08 Spider-Man 

With Spidey finally entering 
the Marvel Cinematic 
Universe, we check out the 
wider implications. 

12 Cinderella 

Kenneth Branagh and Richard 
Madden on Disney’s live take 
on the animated classic. 

14 The Fantastic Four 

What to expect from Marvel’s 
new-look first family - at least 
judging by the trailer. 

15 Teenage Mutant 
Ninja Turtles 2 

Actor William Fichtner tells us 
what’s in store for the Turtle- 
powered sequel. 



FEATURES 

22 Game Of Thrones 

With Season Five on the 
way, we chat to those left 
standing after last year’s 
shocking finale. 

30 Most Hated Characters 

From King Joffrey to Anakin 
Sky walker, we rank the 
characters you hate to hate. 

34 Sleepy Hollow 

As Season Two returns to 
our screens, star Tom Mison 
tells us what’s next for 
Ichabod Crane. 

38 Avengers: Age Of Oltron 

Joss Whedon and Robert 
Downey Jr reveal all on 
Marvel’s epic Phase 2 finale. 



46 Worst Marvel Movies 

We travel the rocky road to the 
MCU, meeting Howard The 
Duck, Man-Thing and more. 

52 The Signal 

Director William Eubank on 
how he looked to Kubrick and 
for his sci-fi thriller. 

540utlander 

Ronald D Moore reveals all 
on the Tumblr-acclaimed 
adaptation of the book series. 

60 The Voices 

Persepolis author Marjane 
Satrapi on how she switched 
to comedy-horror. 

64 Home 

Star Jim Parsons ETs it up in 
this loveable DreamWorks 
animated feature. 



REVIEWS 

70 Jupiter Ascending 

Channing Tatum goes elvish in 
the Wachowskis’ space opera. 

71 Project Almanac 

It’s Chronicle meeis 12 Monkeys 
in this time-travelling fable. 

71 The Signal 

Olivia Cooke has a close 
encounter in this sci-fi thriller. 

72TheTale0fThe 
Princess Kaguya 

Is there still life in Studio Ghibli 
post-Miyazaki? 

72 The Falling 

Game OfThronek Maisie 
Williams’ fights an epidemic in 
Carol Morley’s second feature. 



004 SdRIMow 



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73 Home 

Rihanna, J-Lo and more venture 
into space - but are they 
brought down to Earth? 

74 Interstellar 

Track down Christopher 
Nolan’s spacefaring epic for a 
second time. 

75 Rabid 

David Cronenberg’s venereal 
horror masterpiece gets 
revisited on Blu-ray. 

76 Hardware 

Iggy Pop and Lemmy team up 
in the 25th anniversary of this 
dystopian cult classic. 

78 The Avengers 

Revisit the adventures of John 
Steed and Emma Peel on the 
Series Four Blu-ray. 

www.imagineshop.co.uk 



BOOKCLUB 

84 Essential Read: Snow Crash 

How Neal Stephenson predicted 
the internet. 

88 Beginner’s Cuide: 

Philip Pullman 

Discover why there’s more to him 
than just His Dark Materials. 

90 The Dead Lands 

Benjamin Percy channels Stephen 
King’s The Stand in this dystopic 
horror tale. 

96 Alastair Reynolds 

The Revelation Space author on 
his love for Gerry Anderson. 

lOOJohnRomitaJr 

The acclaimed comic artist talks 
Superman, Kick-Ass and more. 




MEET THE TEAM 

Q. Which character will triumph in 
the Game of Thrones? 






TIMEWABP 

106 Dario Argento 

From Suspiria to beyond, we 
chronicle the life of one of 
horror’s true legends. 

114 John Carpenter 

A look behind the scenes at 
some of the slasher icon’s 
greatest films. 

118 The Iron Giant 

Hold back your tears as we 
revisit this underrated 
animated masterpiece. 

122 Clive Barker’s 




James Hoare 

Editor in Chief 

A. Ser James 

An all-new character, 
the heir to House Hoare 
of the Iron Islands. 

Steve Wright 

Deputy Editor 

A. Daenerys 

She’s got dragons and 
the Unsullied on her side 
- how can she fail? 

Jonathan Hatfull 

Senior Staff Writer 

A. Ser Pounce 

There’s no way that little 
badass hasn’t sat on the 
Iron Throne. 

Poppy-Jay Palmer 

Staff Writer 

A. Arya Stark 

After she kills everyone 
and starts her own 
nation of awesome. 

Marcus Faint 

Senior Designer 

A. Jaime Lannister 

Kingslayer turned King. 
Off with any heads that 
mock his lost hand. 



The Hellraiser 
creator on how this 
cult hit was made 
on a budget. 





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SciRNow THE HOTTEST NEWS FIRST 



1 





Your essential, 
trustworthy and 
unrivalled guide 
to the latest genre 
happenings 



newstj 

V 



I WEB OF RUMOURS 

SPIDEY JOINS THE MGU 

Spider-Man is f inaiiy a member of the Marvei Cinematic Universe, 
and we couidn’t be more excited... words poppy jay palmer 



I n what is probably the biggest piece of Spidey- 
related news since Uncle Ben’s death, Marvel 
Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment have 
announced that they will join forces to induct 
Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The news broke on the official Marvel website 
in February, where Chairperson and CEO of The 
Walt Disney Company Bob Iger said: “Spider-Man is one 
of Marvel’s great characters, beloved around the world. 
We’re thrilled to work with Sony Pictures to bring the 
web-slinger into the MCU, which opens up fantastic new 
opportunities for storytelling and franchise building.” 
Michael Lynton, Chairperson and CEO of Sony 
Pictures Entertainment, said: “We always want 
to collaborate with the best and most successful 
filmmakers to grow our franchises and develop our 
characters. Marvel, Kevin Feige [president of Marvel 
Studios] and Amy [Pascal, former co-Chairperson of 
Sony Pictures Entertainment], who helped orchestrate 
this deal, are the perfect team to help produce the next 
chapter of Spider-Man. This is the right decision for the 
franchise, for our business, for Marvel, and for the fans.” 
Spider-Man is Sony Pictures’ most successful 
franchise, with its five films taking a combined sum 
of over $4 billion worldwide, so it’s obvious why they 
haven’t given up the rights completely. But this new 
partnership could be the start of something wonderful. 
Not only will Spider-Man finally get the Marvel Studios 
treatment, it also opens up countless opportunities to 
incorporate Spidey into current MCU storylines. 

Rumours have already started forming, with some 
fans believing that Spider-Man could be making his 
MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War ahead of his 
own solo movie franchise, planned to start in 2017. 

“1 am thrilled to team with Sony Pictures along with 
Amy Pascal to produce the next Spider-Man movie,” 
Feige stated on the Marvel website. “Amy has been 
deeply involved in the realisation on film of one of the 
world’s most beloved characters. Marvel’s involvement 
will hopefully deliver the creative continuity and 
authenticity that fans demand from the MCU. 1 am 
equally excited for the opportunity to have Spider-Man 



008 I SdFfJOM 



appear in the MCU, something which both we at Marvel, 
and fans alike, have been looking forward to for years.” 

Spider-Man’s reboot also leaves room for a 
reimagining of the character. After two separate Peter 
Parker origin stories, who is to say that Marvel can’t 
shake it up a bit? Dylan O’Brien [The Maze Runner) and 
Logan Lerman [Noah) have already been eyed up for 
the lead role. There have been other rumours that Parker 
might not only not be taking centre stage; he might not 
be appearing at all. This leaves room for fan-favourite 
Miles Morales. 

After a lifetime of Marvel-based movies with non- 
white protagonists, it was big news for the company 
when the Chadwick Boseman-starring Black Panther 
was announced last year. But since Spider-Man’s 
inclusion pushed its release back by a year. Morales 
could end up being Marvel’s first black superhero lead. 
This could be the start of a trend where casting anyone 
but a white actor in a lead comic book role won’t lead to 
controversy. It’s 2015 after all. 



The majority of those in favour of a Miles Morales 
story have singled out Community’s Donald Glover as 
their dream casting choice. Before Garfield had secured 
his role in The Amazing Spider-Man, fans campaigned 
to get Glover cast through the medium of memes, 
Facebook pages and making #Donald4Spiderman a 
trending topic on Twitter, the latter of which was also 
backed by Mr Marvel himself, Stan Lee. Best of all, 
Glover has actually said he’s like to take the role. 

“It would be cool for [Marvel Studios] to go with 
something different,” he told The Daily Beast “To be 
real. I’d be honoured to play it, but 1 just want to see the 
best choice. I’d love to see any young guy do something 
interesting - that goes for the director, Spider-Man, 
Mary Jane, etc. 1 just want interesting choices that make 
people question things. One of the reasons The Dark 
Knight worked is because people didn’t think it was 
going to work. I’m excited, though. It will be nice to 
see what Marvel does using him, especially in The 
Avengers universe.” 







014 DEADPOOL 



016 CRIMSON PEAK 



017 ■ZOMBIE 




Lead actor 
David 
Anders on 
reinventing 
the zombie 
TV series 



What we 
know so far 
about Ryan 
Reynolds’ 
Merc With 
a Mouth 



The spooky 
trailer 
creeps in 



Tobey Maguire’s Spidey 
was less science inventor 
and more, well, spider. 



Andrew Garfield in his 
Spidey suit in Marc 
Webb’s 2012 reboot. 





NEWS 



noRtnL 



THE EXTRAS STRIKE BACK 




STAR WARS; 

REHIND THE SCENES 

Documentary Elstree 1976 will look at the career 
of some of the saga’s most colourful characters 

WORDS OLIVER PFEIFFER 



P aul Blake, John Chapman, 

Anthony Forrest, Derek Lyons, 

Pam Rose. . . these names might 
not mean much to some, but probe 
deeper and you will realise that these 
people all played a part in one of the 
biggest sci-fi sagas of all time. That’s 
what filmmaker Jon Spira has done for 
his documentary Elstree 1976, which 
focuses on the clutch of characters 
behind those masks and helmets in Star 
Wars: A New Hope and their subsequent 
convention-signing career. 

“These are wonderful people - truly 
interesting people who have led these 
lives on the fringes of pop culture and 
share this common element that their 
fairly brief involvement with one film 
in north London in 1976 has gone on 
to shape their lives even four decades 
later,” explains Spira. 

The idea came to the filmmaker 
when he met background artist 
John Chapman, who signed up to a 
screenwriting class he was teaching. 

“He revealed this whole secret life he 



had where he’d been an extra in Star 
Wars, and was now travelling all over 
Europe as a guest at conventions, 
signing autographs,” he continues. 

“So 1 went to a lot of conventions, and 
discovered this whole community of 
actors and extras, all of whom had 
been in Star Wars, but had their faces 
obscured by masks or helmets.” 

Among the ten personalities 
interviewed are better-known names 
such as David Prowse (Darth Vader), 
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) and Garrick 
Hagon (Biggs), who all consider their 
unique place in pop culture and 
the incredible fanboy fixation their 
characters have attracted. 

“I’m just so fascinated by the 
obsession people develop with 
entertainment,” finishes Spira, “and 
how something like Star FFars becomes 
so important to people that they start to 
define themselves by it.” 



Elstree 19 76 is anticipated for 
release in November 2015. 




SYFY’S MOST EXPANSIVE 
PROJECT YET? 

Thomas Jane’s TV comeback is a tale of intergalactic 
detective work words mark white interviewsstevenash 



t’s sort of like a futuristic 
Forties New York, if that makes 
sense,” explains Thomas Jane, 
describing the feel of new Syfy 
drama. The Expanse. “Future 
noir,” he coins. “You guys should 
all write that down.” 

The Expanse is Jane’s first 
TV role since playing history 
teacher/prostitute Ray Drecker 
in HBO’s Hung. In a colonised 
galaxy two centuries in the future, 
intergalactic detective Josephus 
Miller takes on a case to find a 
missing heiress, alongside Jim 
Holden (Steven Strait), a Captain 
Kirk-style character and officer on 
an ice freighter. Together, the pair 
of them delve into a mystery that 
looks set to tear three civilisations 
apart: extremely different from 
Hung, but The Expanse has a 
cinematic grandiosity that the title 
might suggest. 

“You know, I just try to go where 
I find the material that turns me 
on,” says Jane. “And it doesn’t 
really matter, especially now, 
whether it’s television or whatever, 
we shoot it all on the same 



cameras. Whereas a feature film is 
more like a short story, a television 
show can be more like a novel.” 

The comparison to literature 
is an apt one. The Expanse has 
been developed from the James 
SA Corey novels, so naturally 
the show has been touted as 
possibly sci-fi’s answer to Game 
Of Thrones. 

“The original writers aren’t so 
worried if we play with the Lego 
blocks of the original story and 
move things around,” says the 
show’s producer Mark Fergus, 
“But generally I’d say it’s a really 
faithful adaptation.” 

What’s even more exciting for 
fans of the novels is that author 
Corey is part of the writing room. 
Two mediums are intertwining: 
“And that’s why I’m here: because 
great writing turns me on,” says 
Jane. “It’s an ambitious project in 
more ways than one.” 



The Expanse will air on 
Syfy in the US later this 
year, with a UK release 
to follow. 











V 

■t 

J' 



The Mist star Thomas 
Jane takes on the lead role 
in Syfy’s The Expanse. 



010 I Wton 



www.scifinow.co.uk 







HOT NEWS 

Amanda Schull 



FIVE THINGS WITH 

AMANDA 

SCHULL 

The star of Syfy’s 12 Monkeys tells us 
why this goes beyond the film. 

WORDS JONATHAN HATFULL 

By the fans, for the fans 

Terry Gilliam’s 1995 time-travelling sci-fi classic 12 Monkeys 
is beloved by genre fans, so there was some understandable upset 
when it was announced that Syfy would be turning the film into a TV 
show. However, star Amanda Schull tells us that this isn’t a simple 
cash-in. “We call it a reimagining of the film, because it’s not the 
film,” she explains. “The film was fantastic, and every single person 
associated with the series is a big fan. We don’t want to try to redo it, 
and we don’t want to try to change it. We all have such respect for it.” 

The road not taken 

Instead of taking the story of the film and stretching it over an 
entire season, Schull tells us that 12 Monkeys w'lW be using the movie 
as a springboard rather than a blueprint. “I’d say probably the first 
episode has the most similarities. It’s basically the entire film in one 
42-minute episode, and then we very quickly detour and are able to 
spin off into so many different storylines, plots, ideas and characters 
that in a film you just don’t have time for. You’re Just immediately on 
this train with these characters and what they need to do. Then it 
doesn’t even take a breath.” 

Past lives 

Although this 12 Monkeys is a different beast, you can’t 
forget that these roles had been inhabited before by the likes of 
Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt and Madeleine Stowe, and Schull tells us that 
nerves were inevitable. “It’d be ridiculous if I weren’t, and I think 
that would be a very egotistical response if I weren’t,” she laughs. 
“’No, I think I can Just nail it!’ It’s daunting, because Madeline Stowe 
is Just incredible, and I don’t want people to think that I’m trying to 
compare myself to her or that I’m trying to mimic her, because I’m 
not. They’ve made enough changes with the character that I don’t 
feel that I am mimicking her.” 



Adventures in time and space 

12 Monkeys represents the first major excursion into sci-fi 
for Schull, and she tells us that it’s been the perfect Jumping-off 
point. “Very much so,” she enthuses. “Sometimes as an actor you 
have to spend a lot of time imagining a world that’s so completely 
different from your own. And this is not that completely different, 
these circumstances and these possibilities... with the exception of 
time travel! [laughs] It’s really exciting as an actor to be able to live 
in the same character’s skin in different time periods and different 
iterations. It’s something I’ve never done before, it’s really thrilling.” 

Finding a fan base 

12 Monkeys aired to a rapturous reception in the US, and 
has become one of the most highly buzzed new shows of the 
season. Schull tells us that she couldn’t be happier that it’s found 
its audience. “It has been a long time coming. We shot the pilot in 
2013, so to be able to finally have people out there seeing it is really 
exciting,” she explains. “There are some women in my ballet class in 
their 70s who came up to me and are Just thrilled out of their minds 
with the show. I think so many people can connect with and enjoy it. 
So it’s been really exciting that it has had that kind of reach.” 



46bascallythe 

ENTIRE F LM IN ONE 
42-M NOTE EPISODfi 



12 Monkeys is airing on Friday nights at 10pm on Syfy. 



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noRtnL 



THE PRINGESS-TD- 

The cast and crew on why 
Cinderella isn’t your average 

fairytale... WORDS BARTOSZ CZARTORYSKI 




A fter so many years of educating 
whole generations that 
true, requited love arrives 
unexpectedly, Cupid never 
misses with his arrows and a 
wedding on the first date is nothing 
out of the ordinary, Kenneth 
Branagh’s live-action remake of 
Disney’s classic 1950 animated 
feature Cinderella looks to have 
altered the course of the fairy tale 
tradition - and in the process even 
started making fun of itself a bit. 

Starring the likes of Cate 
Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter 
and Hayley Atwell, and with the 
presence of fairy tale staples 
like Prince Charming, the Fairy 
Godmother and the evil Step- 
Sisters, on the surface, this retelling 
looks like your standard fairy tale. 
However, appearances are deceptive. 

Just as Giselle in Enchanted had 
second thoughts about her Prince 
Charming, Frozen openly ridiculed 
the very notion of love at first sight. 
Brave's Merida challenged the 
Disney fairy tale princess stereotype 
and Ma/ef/cenf turned things upside 
down completely by turning bad 
good, Cinderella is changing things. 
Having said that, some may see 
Branagh’s brushed-up live-action 
version of the animated classic 
as a step back for Disney. But as 
countless fairy tales have taught 
us over the years, appearances are 
nothing if not deceptive. 

“I, personally, don’t find myself 
enslaved to the desperate desire 
for novelty. 1s it any good?’ is the 
question, not 1s it new?”’ says 
Branagh. “But people don’t buy 
just nostalgia; they like certain 
things because they speak to them. 
You don’t listen to a favourite song 
just once.” 

Stellan Skarsgard (777or: The 
Dark World), who plays the Grand 
Duke, doesn’t seem as keen on the 
penchant for updating classic fairy 
tales. “I hoped they won’t be trying 
to modernise it, make it darker. 



brutal and grittier. Sometimes it’s 
about exploring, making something 
purer and more nuanced rather than 
changing the costume. I see it as a 
step forward”. 

It seems like Skarsgard will be 
getting his wish, as Cinderella not 
only follows the exact same story as 
its 1950 predecessor; it also extends 
its intentional dependence on 
camerawork, settings and costumes. 
All of this combines to make the film 
a stunning visual experience. 

All the trivia about the countless 
Swarovski crystals and miles of 
fabric that were spared for the 
lavish dresses was keenly given at 
the special travelling exhibition that 
is a part of an elaborate marketing 
campaign. Three-time Academy 
Award-winning costume designer 
Sandy Powell assures us that it’s not 
just a gimmick, but the real thing, 
and a hell of a challenge, “The whole 
thing, from start to finish, from 
reading the script first of all, to the 
last day of filming, was about a year.” 

Lily James (Downton Abbey^ 
represents a spot-on casting 
choice as Cinderella, being 
simultaneously strong while 
remaining as dazzling as your 
average Disney princess. Equally, 
however, she breaks the mould 
by not letting her Prince Charming 
(Game Of Thrones' Richard 
Madden) win her over without 
proving his worth first. And he 




Cate Blanchett stars as 
the Evil Stepmother. 



isn’t just a deus ex machina who 
turns up just to save the day 
(although you can sure that this will 
likely be part of his princely duties). 

Nevertheless, far from being a 
default blank faced lady-killer - 
thanks in large part to Madden’s 
committed and joyous performance 
and Chris Weitz’s writing - Cinderella 
sees him as the quintessential 
(pop)cultural icon that often lacked 
substance. “He doesn’t even have 
a name in the animation,” says 
Madden. “I could build the character 
from scratch.” 

Also evident is a real magnetism 
between the two leads, which 
may explain why they were both 
chosen by Branagh to appear in 
his upcoming stage adaptation of 
Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet “I 
loved acting with Richard, I really 
did,” says James of her co-star. “He 
is a good man; incredibly supportive 
and very kind.” 

Branagh has definitely got it right: 
deep inside, the audience truly loves 
the songs it knows best, and doesn’t 
really want its cherished childhood 
fairy tale to mutate, especially when, 
as Skarsgard puts it, “It’s not about a 
girl who wants to become a princess, 
but about a good and honest person 
who just wants to live in love.” You 
can’t get more Disney than that. 




Prince Charming is no 
longer nameiess; this / 
version is caiied Kit J 




RSISSiS 



PRINCE CHARMLESS 

3 films in which the dashing 
heir was anything but 




SHREK 2 (2004; 

The odious Prince Charming 
of the Shrek-verse is a 



preening, immoral dandy 
with mummy issues. Plus he 
wears glitter. 




ENCHANTED (2007) 
Prince Edward isn’t a bad 
guy. He is insufferable and 
vain though, as well as 
unaware of how ridiculous he 
comes across. 




FROZEN (2013) 

“Oh Anna. If only there was 
someone out there who 
loved you.” No words can 
do justice to how much of a 
complete and utter bastard 
Prince Hans is. 






012 I Sdfncw 



www.scifinow.co.uk 





HOT NEWS 

Cinderella 



^AR 

WARS 

The Cornplete Manual 



:oL_, ■■r.fae j.'- r 




STAR WARS: 

THE COMPLETE 
MANUAL 

SciFiNow’s 100% unofficial guide 
to a galaxy far, far away 

Here comes the latest instalment 
in the Complete Manual series: 
our guide to a galaxy far, far away. 
Star Wars: The Complete Manual 
digital edition is available now. 

We celebrate the still-growing 
legacy of Star Wars and bask in the 
nostalgia the original trilogy has 
left behind with an inside look at 
one of cinema’s biggest and most 
loved franchises. 

From the first time the 
Millennium Falcon was taken out 
for a spin in /A New Hopeto Darth 
Vader’s declaration of fatherhood 
in The Empire Strikes Back, we 
count down the best of the best 
moments from Episodes IV-VI. 

It wouldn’t be a SciFiNow 
manual without Complete Guides, 
so we’ve included everything you 
need to know about A New Hope, 
The Empire Strikes Back and 
Return Of The Jedi. 

Science fiction fanatics can also 
get lost in space, ships and more 
with the Firefly and Battlestar 
Galactica Complete Manuals. 

Fans who prefer their space 
operas stay locked in a vacuum 
far, far away can get their hands on 
a selection of digital handbooks, 
including the Harry Potter and 
Stephen King Complete Manuals, 
as well as the Zombie Movies, 
Slasher Movies, Gothic Horror 
and Hammer Horror eBooks. 

Get your digital handbooks for 
just £1.99 each now from 

www.greatdigitalmags.com. 



SdRNoutf I 013 





NEWS 



noRtnL 



SWORDPLAY ^ 



FANTASTIC FOREPLAY 

Why Fantastic Four’s first trailer was a pleasant surprise 

WORDS POPPY-JAY PALMER 

B efore production on the 
Fantastic Four reboot had 
even started there were 
things for the pernickety to 
worry about. Director Josh Trank’s 
involvement started a wave of 
worry that the movie was going to 
be shot in a found-footage style, or 
at least have a found-footage feel 
about it (to be fair, that’s mainly 
because Fox exec Emma Watts 
said it would). 

Next, actor Toby Kebbell 
revealed in an interview with 
Co///derthat his character Doctor 
Doom - or Victor Domashev, 
as opposed to Victor Von Doom 
- is going to be an anti-social 
programmer. “And on blogging 
sites I’m ‘Doom’,’’ finished Kebbell, 
as a resigned ‘blaaargh’ echoed 
once more from the pernickety 
end of the fandom. 

There was also a bit of a panic 
surrounding the fact that the 
movie’s storyline was ever so 
slightly unconventional. What 





Miles Teller will star as Reed 
Richards, aka Mr Fantastic, 
in The Fantastic Four. 



that really came down to was 
the movie’s storyline was drawn 
from the Ultimate Fantastic Four 
comics rather than the classic 
series. A few of the rea//y uptight 
fans (read: racists) were against 
the casting of Michael B Jordan 
as Johnny Storm because ‘he 
isn’t black in the comics!’ Groot 
couldn’t shoot fireflies out of his 
body in the comics, but y’all didn’t 
have a problem with that. 

After all that, and the memory 
of the mediocre 2005 Fantastic 
Four movie and its slightly better 
2008 sequel Rise Of The Silver 
Surfer, the first trailer for Josh 
Trank’s offering was actually 
pretty great. We got a good look 
at the Four, the tech, the super- 
suits and all that other cool stuff. 

It established a good tone: spacey, 
earthy, zero per cent cheesy and 
100 per cent awesome. 

The Fantastic Four will be released 
in cinemas on 6 August. 




MERC WITH A MOUTH 

Who’s playing who in the comic-book movie we’ve 
all been waiting for... words poppy-jay palmer 



9 



RYAN REYNOLDS AS 
WADE WILSON 

Reynolds is no stranger to 
superhero movies. His Deadpool 
leading-man status makes sense after 
he played the Green Lantern and, you 
know, Deadpool in X-Men Origins: 
Wolverine. His Deadpool enthusiasm 
and history with the character and his 
spot-on snark make him a great fit for 
the Merc with a Mouth. His casting just 
makes sense. There are some who will 
say that he can’t carry a movie, not after 
Green Lantern, but it’s unfair to pin 
that hot mess on one man when it most 
definitely was not (just) his fault. 

• MORENABAGGARINAS 
THE LEADING LADY 

The shortlist for Reynolds’ 
leading lady had been floating around 
for a while, including names like 
Taylor Schilling, Jessica de Gouw 
and Grystal Reed. We’ve now had 
confirmation that Firei7y favourite 
Morena Baccarin has joined the project, 
but as to who she will be playing, we 
have no idea. But we reckon it would 
be fun if Baccarin portrayed Shiklah, 
aka Mrs Deadpool and Queen of the 
Undead. That would be one kick-ass 
movie wedding. 






TJ MILLER AS THE GDMIG RELIEF 

Like with Baccarin, we don’t 
actually know which character 
Miller is supposed to be playing. We 
know that he’s going to be supplying the 
comic relief, be it in the form of a villain 
or a sidekick, but we’re leaning more 
towards him portraying Deadpool’s 
sidekick Jack Hammer/Weasel. 






GINA GARAND AS ANGEL DUST 

Gina Garano is one of the few 
casting choices not dusted 
in secrecy. The action star is set to 
play Angel Dust, one of the Ghicago 
Morlocks. As a mutant with adrenaline- 
activated superhuman strength abilities, 
Angel Dust hid her fear of rejection 
under a heavy veil of badass. 






NDT DANIEL GUDMDRE 

When it was announced that 
Piotr Rasputin, aka Golossus, 
would be making a comeback, we kind 
of assumed Daniel Gudmore would 
be taking up the reins once more after 
three X-Men appearances. Sadly, he 
is being sidelined to make way for a 
new actor. 



Deadpool will be released in 
cinemas on 12 February 2016. 




014 I Wton 



www.scifinow.co.uk 






WHO YOU 



Ghostbusters 
gets a huge 
re-imagining... 



WORDS POPPY-JAY PALMER 



W hen rumours of a Ghostbusters 
reboot started surfacing, 
a lot of fans of the original 
started to come out to dust 
off their Proton Packs in interest, 
while others were wary of a childhood 
favourite getting the Star Wars prequel 
treatment. But the most vocal group 
were those who opposed to idea of the 
film being lead by a troupe of woman. 

However, original Ghostbuster Dan 
Aykroyd has voiced his support, which 
is the only endorsement anyone needs. 
“I can tell you, as the originator. I’m 
very happy with what [director Paul 
Feig has] done,” he told Unmasked 
With Ron Bennington. “It’s very 
tasteful. And it needed a reworking. 

The thing needed a new engine. 

“It’s as if the first two movies don’t 
exist, and this is a whole parallel 
reality where for the first time the 
Ghostbusters exist, and they’re 



NAY-SAYER BUSTERS 



L 28% NAY 
72%YAY 



Ghostbusters 3 \n\W be released in 
cinemas on 15 July 2016. 



women in this environment that’s a lot 
different that the first two.” 

The partnership of Feig and writer 
Katie Dippold proved to be a good 
one for The Heat- which scored 
favourable reviews with critics - 
and the amazing cast, which so 
far includes Kristen Wiig, Melissa 
McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Katie 
McKinnon and Cecily Strong, 
certainly possesses the comedy 
credentials to produce gold. 

The reboot has everything 
going for it, topped off by the 
fact that it’s the Ghostbusters. 

But if the news of the reboot has 
genuinely ruined your childhood 
as many people claim, perhaps 
you need to think about what kind 
of childhood you actually had. 




I’TSEENA 



KOWBBUNGaDUDE 

SACKS IS BACK 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles big bad William 
Fichtner talks about returning for round two... 

WORDS POPPY-JAY PALMER 



eeing as the Teenage Mutant Ninja 
Turtles sequel was scheduled before 
the first one even hit the cinemas, 
we’re guessing Paramount has had a 
grand scheme planned for a while. But all 
we know for sure right now is that William 
Fichtner will be returning as Shredder’s 
henchman Eric Sacks. Beyond that, even 
Fichtner doesn’t know what’s going on. “1 
haven’t seen a script or anything at this 
point, so 1 don’t really know!” he says, “but 
I’m excited to see what happens with it. 

“I’m really curious about it. There are 
more characters in the whole world of the 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than we 
saw in the first film. But the guys that are 
writing the second script. Josh Appelbaum 
and Andre Nemec, they worked with us 
a little bit in the first movie. They’re very 
good and imaginative, so I’m curious, you 
know. I’m curious what they are going to 
come up with.” 



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles didn’t give 
Fichtner much opportunity to try out his 
martial arts, but maybe the sequel will be 
the start of something new. 

“There were a lot of guys who worked on 
this film: stunt guys, special effects guys - 
there was a stunt team on this that would 
come out there and throw these martial 
arts moves, and I’m telling you, they would 
get a small crowd gather around and watch 
them when they were working. So 1 watch 
[my stunt] guy do that, and I’m like, ‘that’s 
absolutely wonderful, buddy! Let me go 
and get a cup of coffee. You are making me 
look so good right now!’ I’m going to let the 
pros at that do it, and we’re going to slide 
that into the film, and it’s going to look like 
a million dollars!” 



■Mnl Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 
will be released in cinemas on 




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SdRNOM I 015 







1 Not remotely Gothic 



2 Gothic potentiai 



3 Pretty Gothic 



4 Very Gothic indeed 



p^^U Gothic 



Behrad th^ shroud of Crimson Peak 



WORCrSdOivrATHAN HATFULL 



^ uilfeTmo del Toro’s to-do list is 
m' *^o“^xtensive and under so much 
B T aiscussion that it’s sometimes 
mm easy to forget that he actually 
''makes films as well. While rumours 
^ about Pacific Rim 2, Hellboy3ar\6 
Justice League Dark raged online, the 
master filmmaker got on with making 
his Gothic horror tribute Crimson Peak. 

With a star-studded cast and a 
list of inspirations that includes The 
Haunting, The Innocents an6 The 
Shining, Crimson Peakls a hugely 
exciting prospect, and we’ve finally 
had a good first look at the movie 
with a gorgeous poster and trailer. 

Now, Gothic and del Toro obviously 
go hand in hand, but it looks as 



though the director of Pan’s Labyrinth 
and Pacific Rim has fully indulged 
his love of the genre. The film stars 
Mia Wasikowska (Stoker, Alice In 
Wonderland) as young author Edith 
Cushing, who goes to live with her new 
suitor, the charismatic Sir Thomas 
Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and his icy 
sister Lucille (Jessica Chastain) at 
their crumbling mansion after a family 
tragedy. But she soon discovers that 
the crumbling masonry isn’t the only 
danger to her safety. “Ghosts are real,’ 
she whispers. “I know that now.” 

The bold and beautiful poster is a 
statement in itself, but let’s go a little 
deeper as we assess just how Gothic 
Crimson Peak is going to get. 



Mia Wasikowska gets 
seriously disturbed in 
Crimson Peak. 



A young ingenue propositioned by a 
taii handsome man? Ciassic Gothic, 
but a bit more Jane Eyre. 



This mansion is none more Gothic. 
Dei Toro has said the rotting attic 
represents its broken inhabitants. 



Just in case we hadn’t picked up on 
his sinister intentions, Hiddieston 
executes a perfect smiie-to-f rown. 



Our first proper iook at the house 
itseif. Crimson Peak is the ciassic 
Gothic mansion turned up to 11. 



Luciiie (Jessica Chastain) spies on 
her brother in an intimate moment. 
Creepy sibiing reiationships? Gothic. 



Chariie Hunnam appears as Dr Aian 
McMichaei, an oid friend of Edith’s 
and romantic rivai for Thomas. 













WORDS MARK WHITE INTERVIEW POPPY-JAY PALMER 



I n the difficult second season of 
Heroes, brain-stealing villain Sylar 
was incapacitated by a mystery 
power-disabling virus, with David 
Anders drafted in as a replacement. He 
played immortal warrior Adam Monroe, 
but though he had all the perfect baddie 
traits - smarmy, calculating, even 
brilliantly British - Monroe was killed off 
after just over a season. 

After what seems like a lifetime 
later, it’s Anders who’s doing the 
brain-stealing, now. iZombie swaps the 
immortal for the undead, as medical 
student Olivia ‘Liv’ Moore (Rose Mclver) 
wakes up from the party from hell to 
find that she’s now part-zombie. With 
a craving for brains and her life turned 
upside down, Liv finds solace and 
survival using her medical knowledge 
in a job at a morgue. She soon finds out 
that she absorbs the memories of the 
brains she eats, and so Liv uses her skills 
to solve murders alongside a detective 
(Malcolm Goodwin). So where does 
David Anders fit in? 

“My character Blaine is the main 
antagonist,” explains Anders. “He 
becomes a zombie too: he’s a drug dealer, 
but becomes a brain dealer. Only he has 
no moral dilemma like Liv has, being 
this new thing. He’s embracing these 
new-found powers; there’s lots of blood. 
There’s lots of death.” Another dark role 
then, David? 

“It’s a zom-com-rom-dram!” Anders 
laughs. “It’s something I’ve done my 
entire career, play the heavy character. 



But this is different in that it’s really 
funny, and I’ve never really done that. 
You know, there are certain episodes that 
lean more towards the drama and then 
certain episodes that are more comedic. 

1 feel like there’s enough of each emotion 
in each episode that it’s a nice mix.” 

This blend of styles shouldn’t come 
as a surprise. iZombie is loosely based 
on the DC comic of the same name, and 
has been adapted by Diane Ruggiero and 
Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars 
and 90210. Both shows threw a little 
humour into relatable teenage troubles, 
and iZombie seems to be along those 
lines. “He’s a wise sage of human being: 
we’re in good hands,” Anders says of his 
showrunner; he hadn’t read the original 
comics, but says he fell in love with 
Thomas’s writing. “Every new script. 



we’re all in a hurry to read it and see what 
we get to say next week.” 

Anders’ enthusiasm for iZombie is 
certainly a good sign, then, for anyone 
who hasn’t read the source material. The 
cast went over to San Diego Comic Con 
last year despite no one having seen the 
show, and it seems they already have a 
small following. 

“It was a difficult thing, because it 
was all just hearsay and speculation at 
that point, but we had to pitch them this 
show.” The response? “The feedback was 
entirely positive! The people who showed 
up to our panel had a great time and we 
got some love going. People are looking 
forward to it.” 

iZombie will air on 17 March on The CW 
in the US, with a UK air date to follow. 




David Anders and Rose 
in the first episode of iZombie. 



HOT NEWS 

iZombie 





FIENDS FOREVER 

Which of these charming 
cadavers is your zombie bestie? 



R (WARM BODIES) 

Warm-hearted, 
doe-eyed brain- 
muncher R loves 
dead formats like 
vinyl records and 
Shakespearean 
definitions of 
romantic love. 




FIDO (FIDO) 

Every proud 
American should 
have a zombie 
helper, and they 
can be a young 
boy’s best pal - 
provided their collar 
doesn’t malfunction. 



V 



BILLY BUTCHERSON 
(HOCUS POCUS) 

He may look like a 
nightmare, but ' 

pop open those 
stitches and Billy 
will always put bros 
before broomsticks. 



ED (SHAUN OF 
THE DEAD) 

Ed might be a 
biter and a shitty i 

conversationalist, 1 

but he can still wipe | 
the floor with you on 
TimeSplitters 2, and 
he does make a rather 
fetching addition to any 
garden shed. 



SdRNOM 017 



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NEWS 



noRtnL 





Send your cosplay to @SciFiNow 
or Facebook.com/SciFiNow 



DEATHSTROKE 



COSPLAYER; MARTIN J THOMAS FROM: LONDON. UK PHOTO: ACE A8NUN TWinER: SDEATNSTROKEMJT 



THE CHARACTER 

I chose to cosplay 

Deathstroke mainly because 
he is my favourite character. 

In the DC Comics universe, 
and also in the Arrowjy show, 
Deathstroke is a former soldier, 
martial artist, weapons 
expert, master strategist and 
survivalist. Deathstroke is also an 
older-aged character too - not 
something you find all too often 
in comics and TV. In real life, I am 
a former soldier, and I am also a 
martial artist too. I’m 40 in the 
spring, so he seemed like the 
perfect choice. Plus, his costume 
is awesome! 



THE COSTUME 

The hardest thing for me 
was to get the mask and 
armour right! I’d seen a few 
non-impressive Deathstroke 
cosplay examples at various 
different conventions, and I 
just really wanted to do the 
character justice. Around 50 
per cent of the costume I 
made myself using knowledge 
of and by researching military 
ballistic body armour and 
materials etc. The other 50 
per cent (belts, ammo, etc) I 
bought online and then adapted, 
personalised and co-ordinated to 
my own tastes. 



THE DESIGN 

I wanted my Deathstroke 
to look real, and also 
be functional! A lot of other 
Deathstroke examples you 
can tell are painted cardboard 
and/or are painted rubber or 
foam costumes. My costume’s 
body armour, for example, is 
made of Kevlar, and is real! It 
would stand up to a baseball 
bat, and is even stab-proof in 
places! Don’t get me wrong, 

I ’m not about to patrol the 
streets at night as a vigilante 
[laughs], I just wanted it to look 
as realistic and functional 
as possible. 



THE WEAPONS 

In the comics, Deathstroke 
uses a sword and a gun, 
and has additional things like 
grenades and flash-bangs - a 
bit like Batman’s utility belt. For 
authenticity, I incorporated a 
blunt samurai sword replica, 
a martial arts training sword, 
a legal Airsoft BB gun, Airsoft 
BB gun Shotgun shell ammo 
and two fake replica .50 Calibre 
rounds. What makes the .50 
Calibre rounds special is that 
one bullet has a green krypton ite 
tip with Superman’s name on it, 
and the other has a led tip with 
Batman’s name on it. 






018 SdFfJcw 



0 TRIVIA BILLY WINTERGREEN - SLADE’S ADVERSARY IN ARROW- IS HIS MENTOR IN THE COMICS. 



www.scifinow.co.uk 












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COVER FEATURE 



Game Of Thrones 



THE HEAD 



that wears 



THE CROWN 



GAME OF THRONES IS BIGGER THAN IT 
HASEVERBEEN,BOT THE SHOW HAS 
TAUGHT OS SOME HARSH LESSONS 
ABOUT POWER ANO COMPLACENCY. 
WE TALK TO THE CAST ABOUT BEING 
NUMBER ONE ANO WHY SEASON 5 
WILL BE JUST AS UNPREDICTABLE 



AND DANGEROUS AS EVER... 



WORDS JONATHAN HATFULL 



■HERE ARE VERY FEW TELEVISION SERIES 



I IN TERMS OF SIZE, SCOPE, POPULARITY, 

ANO RENOWN, THE HBO LEVIATHAN 

towers above the competition. The 
Walking Dead might offer gory shocks, 
Doctor Who might have fans covering 
their ears and shrieking for fear of 
spoilers, and The CW might have set 
up home in the geek-friendly forests of 
Tumbir, but when Game Of Thrones rolls 
out a teaser trailer, everyone clicks full 
screen and pays attention. When April 
comes around, there’s only one show 
that everyone’s talking about, and the 
cast are very much aware of it. 

“It’s sphincter-tightening,” laughs 
Liam Cunningham, who plays Stannis 
Baratheon (Stephen Dillane)’s faithful 
right-hand man Davos Seaworth. “The 
popularity of the show, it focuses the 
mind a little bit. It’s not some dodgy 
soap where you’re just throwing out 
the lines and going home. I get daunted 
when I see the scenes that I have to do; 

I go, ‘Oh Christ!’ It’s all about between 
action and cut. The rest is, as an actor. 






022 I SdFlMow 








I it’s out of your hands, and you control 

^ the things that you can have control 
] '' . over. After that it’s somebody else’s 



( problem. So you just try and do the best 

r you can with what you’re given.” 

“ I was always very reluctant to 
admit Thrones had become this kind 
of phenomenon of a TV show,” reveals 
Kit Harington, looking slightly more 
relaxed than his character, troubled 
Night’s Watchman Jon Snow. “You can 
only ignore that fact for so long, but you 
can’t take that onto set with you.” 

“I think it’s a good idea if you can 
force yourself to forget about how big 
it is,” adds John Bradley, who plays 
Jon’s friend Samwell Tarly. “I think that 
would be a distraction. If I’m doing a 
scene with Kit, the example I always use 
is when we found out that people like 
Barack Obama watch the show. It’s not 
going to help; it’s going to be distracting 
to have that in your mind while you’re 
trying to talk to Jon Snow. It’s going 
to throw you a bit off-course if you say 
your line and you think, 1 wonder what 
Mr Obama thought about that.’” 




While we can’t say for sure what 
President Obama thought of Season 
Four - or indeed Snoop Dogg, 
who retweeted Carice van Houten 
(Melisandre) much to her delight - we 
can speak for ourselves and say that we 
were as impressed as everyone else with 
the way that showrunners David Benioff 
and DB Weiss managed to keep the 
momentum going. 

Season Three built to the horrifically 
shocking The Rains Of Castamere’, in 
which the Red Wedding left you either 
speechless or screaming. Somehow, 
Season Four raised the stakes and gave 
us the Purple Wedding, Tyrion (Peter 
Dinklage) putting an arrow in his father 
Tywin (Charles Dance), Sansa (Sophie 
Turner) and Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) 
forming an alliance and Arya (Maisie 
Williams) going off to join the Faceless 
Men. Oh, and let’s not forget Oberyn 
Martell (Pedro Pascal) being pummelled 
into a bloody mess by The Mountain 
(Hafthor Julfus Bjornsson) after a 
build-up of Princess Bride proportions. 
Resting on its laurels isn’t something 



Game Of Thrones does. Every season 
provides the audience with new shocks, 
talking points and reasons to howl our 
surprise/outrage into social media. 

If you think the people working on 
the show take our rabid fandom for 
granted, you’re wrong. Harington tells 
us that each year brings the same 
challenge to stun the audience, but 
Season Five means something special. 
“I worry every year about it running out 
of steam,” he says. “I think we’ve got to 
a point where people who have watched 
it thus far will finish it. So I don’t think 
it’s going to lose its viewership, but it’s 
about keeping that viewership happy 
and keeping the quality up and making 
sure we don’t do what other - naming 
no names - TV shows have done in 
the past, which is finish on a whimper. 
Some of my favourite TV shows in 
history, the best season was five, and 
then they maintained it to the end, but 
the best season was five. This year’s 
important to me, and all of us, for 
keeping that standard with some of our 
favourite TV shows.” ' 



THE SUCCESS 
OF THE SHOW 
IS SPHINCTER- 
TIGHTENING! 

LIAM CUNNINGHAM 



SdFftow I 023 










COVER FEATURE 



Game Of Thrones 



- “There’s such fans of the books, and 
the fans of the show are just growing 
and growing and growing,” adds 
Nathalie Emmanuel, who stands at 
Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) 
side as her advisor Missandei. “I think 
almost the responsibility of that, of 
pleasing the people that are keeping us 
going, that watch us, that’s why we’re 
on a fifth season.” 

That kind of fanatical fandom also 
extends to the cast, as several of them 
announce that Season Five is the first 
time that they’re actively trying to 
avoid spoilers. Alfie Allen, who plays the 
ever-more-brutalised Theon Greyjoy 
(sorry. Reek), tells us that what began 
as an acting choice became a habit that 
benefited him as a viewer. “In the third 
season, I didn’t read any of the scripts 
except my own stuff because I was just 
in a world where there was nothing - 
everything that was happening outside 
that room was irrelevant to me,” he 
remembers. “Now it is quite funny, 
because I sit there with my friends and 
I’m like, ‘What?’ And they’re like ‘You’re 
on the show, did you not know about 
this?’ So I do like to keep myself as a fan 
and keep some things unknown to me.” 



T’STHEFIRSTTIMETHATIHAVEN’TREADTHE 



I LIKE ALFIE SAID, IT’S LIKE THE TESTER, I 
WANTTOSEEITFIRST-HAND,IWANTTOSEE 

it as a fan. I consider myself a fan of 
the show, but actually I’ve never put 
that to the test as far as not knowing 
what’s coming. So I’ve spent the whole 
year with fingers in my ears, because 
everyone’s been having chats around 
the bar about what happens in their 
storylines, and I’ve to go, ‘No no no no, 
don’t tell me!’ Like a normal fan of the 
show would. ‘Argh spoilers, no!’” 

One of the cast who happily admits 
to reading the entirety of Season Five 
is Bradley, who reveals that we can 
certainly expect our jaws to be dropping 
to the floor. “It’s always amazing to 
read a script and think, ‘Oh my god, 
we’ve got an unfilmable script here.’ 

And then April rolls around and you 



King’s Landing Standings 

How the Houses have fared over the 
course of four seasons 




House House Hoose Hoose 

Baratheon Lannister Stark Targaryen 






024 I SoFlMow 



think, ‘Oh, well they must have filmed 
it.’ But it is nice to read the words on 
the page. You can only imagine what all 
the heads of department are going to 
do to those words to bring them to life. 
I’m constantly surprised by how they 
achieve that. Because if you read some 
of the directions, they seem crazy and 
extreme, and almost too extravagant to 
bring into actuality.” “They really were 
this year,” adds Harington. 

“So it seems they’ve got a real task 
on their hands, and then you remember 
that these are all people working on the 
very top of their game, and then they get 
their hands on it, and then in April you 
see what they’ve done, and it’s always 
breathtaking,” concludes Bradley. 

Interestingly, prop master Robbie 
Boake tells us that from a production 



standpoint, the fears are pretty similar. 
“Every year has its own challenges,” he 
explains. “Sometimes they appear to 
be absolutely insurmountable at times, 
and then you take a deep breath and 
say, ‘You know what, we’ve done this 
before.’ There is the comfort of having 
the experience and the track record of 
doing some very big things. 

“So when something new arrives, 
and there always is something pretty 
big in the scripts, you go ‘Woah, how 
are we doing that,’ but there’s nothing 
that can’t be worked out, and that is 
the challenge on the show I think, is 
that we certainly push every year to do 
something bigger, better, faster, more 
interesting, and it’s never rested. It’s 
consistently got bigger and bigger 
and bigger.” 



fT 

V 







T-ri' 

\ 



' Oil’ 




Season Five will hopefully find the budding 
romance between Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) 
and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) blossom further. 



7 THE RESPONSIBILITY 
OF PLEASING THE FANS 
IS WHY WE’RE ON A 
FIFTH SEASON 

NATHALIE BMMNUEl 



Jeffrey ascends 
to the throne. 



- Ned is appointed 
Hand to the King 
and Sansa is 
engaged to Jeffrey. 



Ned is executed and the ■ 
North declares war. 



Drogo dies, Daenerys 
becomes Dragon Queen. 



— Daenerys marries 
Khal Drogo. 



Ned is executed. 






















GAME OF THRONES 



The Head That Wears The Crown 



Cunningham found himself pushed 
further north - at least as far as 
Westeros goes - this year, as Season 
Five begins with Stannis and his 
forces on the Wall, having rescued Jon 
Snow and the Night’s Watch from the 
seemingly unstoppable attack of Mance 
Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) and his Wildlings, 
and he says he was so stunned by the 
work that went into creating the visuals 
that he refused to elaborate on beyond 
it being “close to the Wall!” 

“Yeah, it’s ridiculous,” he marvels. 

“We didn’t go to Iceland, but there is 
one area that they had to paint the 
landscape, and I think it took a month. 
They actually had to paint Northern 
Ireland, and it’s just extraordinary.” 

“The crew work so hard, it’s 
unbelievable,” adds van Houten. 



“And when you walk on a set like that, 
you cannot believe what you see. It’s 
as if it’s been there forever, these sets. 
They look like castles that were there 
forever, it’s unbelievable. When we 
come there in the morning it’s already 
prepared, and I’m like, ‘What time did 
they get up? 11 at night?”’ 

“They were up at 2am,” 
confirms Cunningham. 

The arrival of Stannis’s forces at 
the Wall was one of those thrilling 
moments that only shows as rich and 
detailed as Game Of Thrones can 
manage; the excitement of seeing 
plotlines intertwining. Few shows can 
offer a scene as superficially simple as 
Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) 
recognising Arya close to the Eerie and 
make it so heart-wrenching. “You’re 



Arya Stark,” said the warrior, a moment 
that meant little to the young girl, but 
so much to all of us who knew how far 
Brienne had come to find her, although 
we all knew it wouldn’t work out. The 
look Melisandre gave Jon, however, hints 
at something much more important 
to come. “My character is trying 
throughout the fourth season to get 
everyone to go north, to go up the Wall,” 
remembers van Houten. “And then we 
end, we go up the wall, and then we see 
her clocking Jon Snow, and all of 
us know that there is something about 
this guy... which is not revealed until 
later on!” 

The question of Melisandre’s 
motives is one of the most compelling 
mysteries of Game Of Thrones. Since 
her introduction, the character has 



The recently bereaved Ellaria Sand 
(Indira Varma) alongside newcomer 
Areo Hotah (DeObia Oparei). 



The new season sees Cersei 
(Lena Headey) finally gain the 
power she has always craved. 



rff 




























SOS ^obb Stark is killed. 



Daeneiys takes and - 
holds Meereen. 



Stannis kills Renly, 
securing his claim. 



Stannis is defeated at the - 
Battle of Blackwater. 



Robb’s forces are strong 
and pose a real threat. 



Daeneiys ] 

takes Yunkai. j 



Daeneiys 
roasts Pyat. 



Joffrey and Tywin 
are assassinated. 






Robb and Catelyn 
are murdered. 



Stannis arrives at the Wall - 
and captures Mance Rayder. 






The Battle of Blackwater 
is a disaster. 



Stannis is forced to 
borrow money to 
hire a new army. 



Sansa escapes with 
Littlefinger. 






SdnNOW I 025 



i r 3 ■■ r 3 + r 3 + 



3 1- n T 3 + [ 






mmmmmmmnmmmmumm 









COVER FEATURE 



Game Of Thrones 



exclusive to her, and Cunningham tells 
us that the continued high quality of the 
writing is the reason why we continue 
to see so many excellent performances 
and why amazing actors continue to 
flock to Game Of Thrones. 

“It’s kind of required,” he explains. 

“It’s a show about power and legacy 
and family against this backdrop of 
dragons and this weird feudal medieval 
world. But you can’t have people who 
don’t know what they’re doing; the 
show has been cast incredibly cleverly. 
When you’ve got people of the quality 
of Peter Dinklage and Diana Rigg and 
Charles Dance and right through, we 
could name everybody on this... it’s an 
incredible showcase because of the 
quality, it all comes down to the writing. 

“The writing is magnificent on this, 
the production values are extraordinary, 
and the show has turned into a 
phenomenon because of the quality 
of it. It’s extraordinary, there’s not one 
type of person who watches it. It’s 
right across the board, it’s seen as one 
of the best things that television has 
ever produced, and quite rightly so, 
and I think we’d all consider ourselves 
incredibly lucky to be in it.” 

“I think for me right now it just 
seems like normal, because this was 
my first job,” laughs Sophie Turner, who 
plays the increasingly politically astute 



very clearly been working to her own 
agenda, but that agenda is decidedly 
unclear. Her allegiance is to the Lord of 
Light, but is her loyalty to Stannis only 
valid for as long as he is useful? Is her 
burning heretics and covering easily 
manipulated teenagers’ bodies with 
leeches all for the greater good? 



I T’S HARD, BECAUSE IT’S NOT REALLY CLEAR 
TO ME EITHER SOMETIMES,” REVEALS VAN 
H0UTEN.‘1MEAN,I’DLIKET0THINKTHAT 
SHE’S DOING IT FOR A GREATER GOOD. 

That’s the way I try to play it, because 
otherwise I’m just plain evil, and that’s 
boring to play. So her methods may 
not be very gentle, they may be very 
cruel indeed, but I have a feeling that 
she knows, she can see the bigger 
picture; she can see what we’re really 
dealing with. All these wars that we’re 
talking about, that’s not what we should 
be fighting for, there’s something 
way bigger than that, that nobody 
can foresee. And in order to control it 
or to stop it, we have to make crazy 
sacrifices, and she doesn’t really show 
that much emotion about that, that’s 
true. That’s the way I try to play her, and 
I have to say that Season Five is very 
interesting concerning the arc of my 
character and where she’s going.” 

The depth and complexity of 
Melisandre’s character is in no way 



It looks like the story of Podrick (Daniel 
Portman) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) 
will take a departure from the books. 



026 I SoRNow 








Few authors have inspired the 
same level of fanaticism as George 
RR Martin. The world of Game Of 
Thrones is so deep and detailed 
that legions of fans have been 
drawn to it. Elio M Garcfa Jr is the 
co-writer of The World Of Ice And 
F/re with George RR Martin and 
Linda Antonsson, and he tells us 
that there is one simple reason 
for the series’ success. “George’s 
incredible skill as a storyteller,” he 
states. “He knows how to weave 
together a narrative that pushes 
buttons, that has memorable 
characters and situations. I can’t 
remember what I had for dinner 
last Sunday, but I can recite 
almost word-for-word Eddard 
Stark’s exchange with the three 
Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy.” 
Together with Antonsson, 
Garcfa Jr founded Westerns, 
oig and created an online 
role-playing game based on the 
series, all with the permission and 
encouragement of its author. “We 
wanted to use a fantasy setting 
that no one else had used, and 
A Song Of Ice And Fire seemed 
perfect,” he remembers. “So 
we contacted George to ask his 



permission... and while we did 
that, we created a website, just 
as a way to show we were serious 
and dedicated. That initial website 
had our first tries at replicating the 
heraldry of the Seven Kingdoms, 
and George was very impressed by 
it. He gave us permission to create 
our game. Blood Of Dragons, and 
also sent us batches of names of 
noble houses and their heraldry.” 
Since then, the series has only 
grown in popularity, with the HBO 
series drawing a whole new area of 
fandom. “It’s grown enormously,” 
he enthuses. “The fandom 
now includes people who have 
never actually read the books, 
and perhaps have no interest in 
reading them. Though as the show 
begins to overtake the books, 
perhaps there’ll be new Unsullied, 
those who choose to be ‘book- 
only’ and isolate themselves from 
potential spoilers from the show.” 



H The World Of Ice 
And Fire by George 
RR Martin, Elio M 
Garcfa Jr and Linda 
Antonsson is available now, 
published by Harper Voyager. 






GAME OF THRONES 



The Head That Wears The Crown 



Things go from bad to worse for 
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), on the 
run after murdering his father. 



Margaery (Natalie Dormer) may be 
Queen, but you can bet that Cersei 
will have something to say about it. 



It looks like Stannis 
(Stephen Dillane) and 
Jon (Kit Harington) will 
be a surprise double act. 
















COVER FEATURE 

Game Of Thrones 



Sansa Stark, last seen setting out with 
the Machiavellian Petyr‘Littlefinger’ 
Baelish. “I was 13 [when I started]. All 
my formative years were spent growing 
up on a film set, and most of my time 
was spent on the Game Of Thrones set, 
which is bizarre and difficult for people 
at home to understand, but it’s been 
like a massive drama class that you 
can never get at home or school. This is 
what the industry is for me, and I’m sure 
it will be crap after this show ends, but 
when it comes to an end I’ll realise how 
lucky I was to be a part of it, and how 
huge it was in comparison to so many 
other things and just how well it’s done.” 
“This could be the one thing, and 
the only thing that I am known for,” 
concludes Harington. “I’ll be very lucky 
if it is, an incredibly lucky actor to have 
ever been involved in something like 
this. It’s all downhill from here! I left 
drama school, and I’ve got a picture of 
me, Alf ie and Richard Madden [the late 
Robb Stark] on the very first day of the 
read through of the pilot. We really do 



look like kids, and I felt like a kid back 
then. I didn’t feel like an adult back then. 
Looking back now, I think I feel like an 
adult now, I don’t know” 

N aturally, THIS HUMBLE PERSPECTIVE 
DOESN’T MEAN THAT EVERYONE’S 
ANXIOUS TO BE OUT OF THE SHOW JUST 
YET. WITH EVERY PASSING SEASON THE 

body count gets bigger and bigger, and 
it’s only natural for the cast to worry 
about whether or not George RR Martin 
has drawn a line through their names. 

“You want to stay with the story, 
you want to see it through to the end,” 
enthuses Cunningham. “Certainly I 
do. I don’t want to leave before the 
story finishes, I want to try and stay 
as long as I can, but I do love the idea 
of not knowing. We shoot season by 
season, but a lot of it is done reasonably 
chronologically as you go along, so 
apart from reading those scripts we 
don’t know what’s coming in the next 
season - we certainly don’t know what’s 
happening in Six. But it’s extraordinary 



to read them and then play it. It’s like 
life, it rolls out in front of you and you 
have no idea what’s coming. That’s kind 
of cool. Also, my children have got used 
to wearing shoes which is quite unusual 
for them!” 

“You know that you’re definitely 
coming into the season, whether it’s to 
leave at some point you don’t know,” 
explains Emmanuel. “I suppose that 
could be slightly nerve-wracking, but I 
think, I feel like that’s something that 
happens a lot on Game Of Thrones, 
and to be killed or to leave or whatever 
isn’t that unlikely and I’ve kind of 
accepted that that could happen to my 
character and I’d be just happy to have 
been a part of it at all so, and I just hope 
that it would be done in a nice way or 
a cool way or something that makes 
people feel something,” 

“Valar Morghulis,” chuckles 
Cunningham. Valar Morghulis indeed. 

Season Five of Game Of Thrones \n\W air 
on Sky Atlantic from 13 April. 




Events will conspire to expand the 
wedge between siblings Cersei and 
Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). 



028 I SdFIMow 













GAME OF THRONES 

The Head That Wears The Crown 




PcM/ 



... 




Struggling fo deal with a life-changing event? Wondering how to cope with a potentially deadly social function? Worrying about 
whether you’ll climh the social ladder? Just ask the most gifted operator in all the Seven Kingdoms: our very own Margaery Tyrell! 



DcM/ ... 

I recently saw my new uncle push my aunt 
through a Sky Door. 1 don’t know if 1 can 
trust him, but he’s proven he knows how to 
manipulate a situation, and 1 think he might be 
the lesser of a lot of evils. What should 1 do? 

S, The Eerie 

Dear S, the first lesson to learn is that you 
should never trust anybody. Not even me, 
haha! It’s vital that you figme out what 
this imcle of yours can do for you and how 
devoted he is to you. He’s already shown 
he’s capable of murder (although who in 
Westerns isn’t?), so you have to assume that 
there’s at least a chance that he might be 
looking for a Sky Door to push you through 
at some point. However, if it looks hke 
he’s got your best interests at heart at the 
moment, there’s no harm in playing along, 
at least for now. Keep yom eyes open and 
see what you can learn from him if he’s a 
master manipulator. 

DcM/ ... 

I’ve recently come into possession of a young 
charge, but I’m worried she doesn’t trust me. 
What do you recommend? 

P, The Eerie 

Dear P, most people can be won over 
with a demonstration of usefulness and 
imderstanding. With a yoimger charge, it 
can be a littie more difficult. I myself 
recendy had great success with a night-time 
visit and a gift in the form of a cat. Everyone 
loves a cat. 



i OBERYNMARTELL 

HGHTDANCE STUDIO 

J We regret to inform that all future 

j| classes are cancelled indefinitely. Any 

outstanding coupons may be redeemed 
i for their monetary value or brothel 

, discounts. We apologise for 

any inconvenience this may cause. 



DcM/ ... 

Having been accused of a crime 1 didn’t 
commit, 1 have now committed a bigger one. 
Should 1 abandon the kingdom I’ve known 
for my whole life, not to mention my family? 
Actually, the family part isn’t too important. . . 

T, address withheld. 

Dear T, don’t let a crime drag you down. If 
there’s one thing that history has taught us, 
it’s that any misdemeanom can be forgiven 
or forgotten eventually; it’s just a question 
of how you manage to get yom forgiveness. 
That being said, if you’re who 1 think you 
are (no names!) there is definitely a pretty 
serious manhimt currently imderway, so 1 
heartily encourage you to get out of town for 
a while. Similarly, abandoning kingdoms 
can be a blessing. If yom situation isn’t 
working out for you, look for the next best 
option and move on. I wish you all the best in 
yom travels. 

DcM/ ... 

I’ve worked very hard in politics for many 
years, but have finally decided to throw it all 
away for what 1 believe is right. Did 1 make the 
right decision? 

V, address withheld. 

Dear V, as 1 said to T (and 1 think you might 
be reading this together), there is no shame 
in letting something go. Sometimes, you’ve 
just got to roll the dice and make the difficult 
choice in order to achieve yom desired goal. 
It’s also worth noting that a bimied bridge 
is simply an obstacle to overcome. If things 
don’t work out in yom new situation, a man 
with yom talents can always find a way to be 
useful again. 

DcM/ ... 

. . .actually, never mind. Everything’s fine. Just 
ignore me. 

XhgTTirPrrk the basement. 

Dear Reek, no one will respect you if you 
don’t start standing up for yourself. Buck 
yom ideas up. 

















MM 








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OVER FEATURE 

Game Of Thrones 



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kff 



kf# 



\n 



NAME: 

-Jofprey 
BARATHEOW 
(Game op thrones) 



V V . r. . CHARGE: 

iving a whole new meaning to the 

word ‘bastard’ 

J’l X m report* 

S S=i~5*=; 

“-ssssr- 

for him, there’s only 
loathing. 




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MOST HATED 

IT’S NOT ALWAYS THE MOST OANGEROUS VILLAINS 
WHO ARE THE MOST LOATHEO. HERE'S A ROLL CALL OF 
THE CHARACTERS FANS OELIGHT IN DESPISING... 



WORDSSTEVE WRIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS DAVID COUSENS 



COMPLETE BASTARD 



030 I SdRNow 






NAM£: 

JAR cJAB SINKS 
(STAR WARS) 



RSPORT: 

J^ar Jar is an amphibious Pee-Wee Herman 
who radiates soul-crushing 

mouto hateful 

f appearing in 

Phantom Menace’s two sequels j 
V:, time to ensure the ’ ^ 

vv^^^^^alaxy will spend years / 

> iJ; under the rule of a 
^SirV despot. 



GAME OF THRONES- 

Sci-fi's & Fantasy’s Most Hated 



NAME: 

harry POWELL 
(THE NIGHT OE 
the HUNTER) 



CHARGES: 

. Giving religion abad name 

. Not picking on people h is own size 



KBPORT: 

History is full of people who perver 
religion to their 

mystique remains relevant From 
the way he uses women to how he 

disposes ofthem, he is one of 

cinema’s enduring 
hate figures. 



WAME; 

gains baltar 
(BATTLESTAR 
GALACTICA) 

. _ CHARGES: 

^aJ 

survival. Evfn hi™ ' 

L «ngedwlthdisan^?T^*'®°° 

^ wayevervnn?^ *™®"<^att 

K .y uvejwone seems to for^Pt 
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genocide. 





OVER FEATURI 

Game Of Thrones 



NAME: 

DENETHOB 
(RETURN OF THE KING) 



NAME: 

CAPTAIN VIDAL 
(PAN’S LABYRINTH) 



CHABGES: 

• Being the world’s worst dad 
• Eating like a slob 



CHARGES: 

• Being the most monstrous 
character in a film full of monsters 
Shooting a little girl. I mean, come on 



REPORT: 

By virtue of his actions (or lack thereof) 
Denethor had everyone screaming. The 
Steward was charged with protecting 
Gondor - instead, he wallowed 
in grief, let his son Faramir 
lead a suicide charge, 
even tried to burn 

him alive. ^ 



KISS 






HE Tt 



COOK 



(STA^^ 









, ° Tg outIoM<i’^';„t.s ohVi? dates 

L crying uv j 



REPORT: 

Fascism is a fertile source of cinematic 
hate figures. Obsessed with General 
Franco’s regime, Vidal thinks 
nothing of casual murder and 
torture, and is totally 
unambiguous in his 
evil nature^ 



GAME OF THRONES 




Sci-fi’s & Fantasy’s Most Hated 



NAME: 

ANAKIN 
SKYWALKER 
(STAR WARS) 



CHARGES: 

• Diminishing an icon 
Killing kids. Again, what the hell? 



Whiny and childish, everything 
about young Vader feels wrong. The 
Tact that it took Clone Wars 
) decent portrayal highlighted how 
w bad Hayden Christensen’s 

performance was. ^ 



NAME: 

president 

SNOW 



NAME: 

DOLORES 

UMBRIDGE 



(THE HUNGER GAMES) 



(HARRY POTTER) 



CHARGES: 

• Putting the ‘die’ in c 

. Having the world’s wors 

KEPORT: 

Masking his malevolence 

flowers and a forced grii 

K countless deaths and d 



Nigel Parage 



rep of cat owners 



with scented 
a, he orders 




Sleepy Hollow 



WORDS ABIGAILCHANDLER 



0341 1 ScffiNow 



www.scifinowxo.uk 

















Mr ‘ 


^1 










^FFANTASYTVHASTAUGHT 
US ONE THING, IT’S THAT 
' YOU ALWAYS SAVE THE 
SHOW-STOPPER FOR THE 
SEASON FINALE. UNLESS 
YOU’RE SLEEPY HOLLOW, IN WHICH 

case you splurge an Apocalypse, the 
death of the big baddie and the shock 
demise of a main character on a lowly 
mid-season finale. Well, Sleepy Hollow 
isn’t exactly known for being what you 
expect it to be. 

What could have been a poor 
modern-day update of Washington 
Irving’s short story The Legend Of 
S/eepy Ho//owturned out instead to be 
a man-out-of-time buddy comedy, a 
horror show and everything in between. 

When UK viewers last saw Ichabod 
Crane (Tom Mison) and Lieutenant 
Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), they had 
successfully killed Moloch (Derek 
Mears) and stopped the Apocalypse, 
with some unlikely last-minute help 
from Ichabod’s son Henry (John Noble), 
whose teenage rebellion phase has 
continued well past middle age. 

We also saw the surprising death 
of Captain Irving (Orlando Jones). 
“When someone dies in Sleepy Hollow 
you can safely expect they’ll be back,” 
says Mison, the British actor who 
brings Ichabod to life. “But for the rest 
of this season the danger returns and 
there’s death coming, and it’s rather 
more permanent.” 



Fans (jave been won over by the dynamic between 
IchabodjP'om Mison) ailS Abbie (Nicole Beharie). 



If they’re the Witnesses and they’re 
supposed to stop the Apocalypse, if 
for all intents and purposes the 
Apocalypse has been stopped, where 
do they go? Does she go back to 
Quantico and start training for the FBI? 
What does Ichabod do? I’ll have to get 
a haircut and a job, and that doesn’t 
sound like fun... So Ichabod’s worried, 
it goes into quite an existential crisis: 
what am I if I’ve completed the mission 
and I’m still here?” 

Ichabod isn’t the only character who 
is left without a path to follow. Now that 
Henry has killed his master, will he start 
to come round to the side of the angels? 
That’s far too much to hope for. Mison 
tells us that Henry has had “time to 
digest, to plan his next move, so when 
he does come back he comes back 
with a bang. He’s not going to muck 
about anymore, and he’s not going to 
accept ‘but I’m your father’, ‘but I’m your 
mother’ anymore; he wants blood.” 
Moloch might have been the show’s 
chief monster, but let’s be honest - 
Henry has been the true villain of the 
piece all along, powered by bitterness 
and abandonment issues. What with 
Henry’s rage and Katrina’s habit of 
telling small untruths, things aren’t 
looking great for the Cranes as we go 
into the second half of Season Two. 

“The Cranes are doomed!” Mison 
laughs. “They’ve been doomed from 
the start! They’re out of odds with each 



TIME, THEY RE OUT OF ODDS WITH HOW THEY PLAN TO SPEMO THEIR TIME” 



TOM MISON 



For a season and a half now. Sleepy 
Hollowhas been driven by Moloch and 
his plans to take over Earth. Now he’s 
dead, where does the show go? Who 
better to ask than Mison, an endearing 
nerd with a penchant for penguins (“I’m 
going to work in my own zoo, and I’ll 
feed the bloody penguins every day!”) 
and books (“I learnt a really lovely 
word the other day - a lovely Japanese 
word, ‘tsundoku’, which means ‘a pile of 
unread books’”). 

So what’s next for Ichabod? “This is 
the big dilemma for him and for Abbie. 
After we’ve seen Moloch die and Henry 
disappears, what do they do next? 



other, they’re out of odds with their 
time, they’re out of odds with how they 
plan to spend their time. They were 
always doomed from the moment 
Ichabod came out of the ground and 
Katrina came out of Purgatory and 
Henry was the Horseman of War. I think 
particularly in the latter half of the 
season you’ll start to see that snowball.” 
Poor Katrina (Katia Winter) didn’t 
stand a chance with the fans of the 
show. They are so invested in the 
Ichabod/Abbie partnership that 
any new addition to the dynamic is 
greeted with suspicion at best and 
a concentrated social media attack 



SdFiNouu I 035 



\ 




SUMMIBE WWW. IMAGINESHOP.CO.uk 







ST-SEE TV 



leepy Hollow 



at worst. Hawley (Matt Barr), a new 
addition to Season Two who’s been 
making eyes at Abbie, has been met 
with similar hostility. 

“The promising thing about the 
group of people who create this 
show is that they’ve been listening, 

Mison says tactfully. ‘They’re aware 
of what is popular and what is less 
popular. It’s very difficult to ignore it; 
we have a very vocal fanbase, which 
we’ve been very grateful for... So we try 
something, and if it sticks we can roll 
with it and if it’s less popular then we 
can twist it. I think that’s a very positive 
way to react to the criticism.” 

UT WHILE FANS MAY DISAGREE 
WITH SOME ASPECTS OF THE 
SHOW, THAT’S JUST A DROP 
IN THE OCEAN COMPARED 
TO WHAT THEY LOVE ABOUT 
IT. SLEEPY HOLLOW ISN’T LIKE 
anything else on TV - it’s 
funny, scary and heartfelt all at once, 
and few shows can get quite so many 
laughs out of their male lead’s hatred of 
jeans (“I think Ichabod just finds them 
too uncomfortable. He needs room to 
breathe, if you know what I mean’ ). 

But Season Two sees some changes 
coming, with the producers promising a 
move away from serialised stories and 
towards more episodic tales. The fans 
have greeted this news with weariness 
- a move to episodic stories usually 
indicates that a show needs to gain new 



viewers, and quickly. But Mison has a 
more positive outlook on things. “I have 
absolute faith that it won’t become the 
dreaded monster-of-the-week; it will 
be much fuller than that. With so many 
great ideas from [the writers], I think we 
can easily fill another season with just 
what they’ve got now, let alone what 
they’ll have in a few months... I think it 
will be a welcome change.” 

Sleepy Ho//ow was the surprise 
hit of 2013 , outlasting shows that 
arrived in a cloud of hype. Few people 
can say a bad word about it. We asked 
Mison just what he thinks makes it 



so special, and he started telling us 
about going to see horror movie The 
Babadook. “Afterwards,” he continues, 

“I kind of had a bit of an epiphany that 
the thing that has always been most 
successful with Sleepy Hollowhas been 
when it’s a horror film every week, but a 
horror film that gets the joke. 

“That’s when I find it the most 
exciting to watch, and I suspect also 
that’s the most exciting to shoot. The 
horror that gets the joke. It’s also quite 
unique on telly, end that’s something 
that I’m sure we’ll try to strive towards in 
the coming episodes.” 



According to Mison, co-star 
Winter “can say anything, 
and it destroys me.” 



036 I SdRIMow 









SLEEPY HOLLOW-f 

The Legend Continues I 



i 




The other reason the show works so 
well is perhaps something that Mison is 
too humble to suggest - he and Nicole 
Beharie work so brilliantly together as 
Ichabod and Abbie. “It’s such a joy to 
play,” he says. “It’s so nice when you’re 
part of a pair. We have to rely on each 
other an awful lot, Nicole and Tom, as 
much as Ichabod and Abbie... It’s fun to 
play with Nicole, and we throw ideas in, 
we seem to agree on everything, which 
is very fortunate. 

“We both come from a background 
where the scene is more important 
than the individual actor, so we’re both 
striving to get the best out of a scene 
rather than show ourselves off. And I 
think that’s where the magic lies - we’re 
both trying to tell the story and come 
at it from the same direction. It’s a real 
treat. It s a real joy.” A mischievous tone 
creeps into his voice. “And I’m sure she 
loves me. She loves working with me. 
She’s learnt everything from me, and it’s 
a pleasure to teach her.” 

While making Sleepy Hollow has 
its challenges (“I don’t think I’ve ever 
done a job with so much exposition... 
that’s the hardest thing: keeping 
the exposition fresh and natural and 
interesting”), it seems to generally be 
as much of a delight to film as it is to 
watch. He has nothing but nice things 
to say about his co-stars, saying in his 
understated way that “we work together 
rather nicely”, and that Winter “can say 
anything, and it destroys me.” The cast 






are all active on social media, engaeine 
with the fans and getting the j 
much as the show does. 

Sleepy Hollowhasr 
up for a third seaso. 
wrapped filming without knov 
whether or not he’ll ev 
those boots on ag 

dropping hints ab 

season finale though. 

“Brace yourselves,” he s. 
not going to be the cliffhar.^.. 
ending of Season One. We’re not go 
to repeat that. Instea 
level of finality th 
that will again chc 
exciting way to end i 

Let’s hope the ‘fine 

all that final. But even if it is, at li 

have a half-season of joy ahead of i 

Sleepy Hollow. Si 
to the Universe 
26 March. 



.1 



Mison teases an 
^ uncertain future for 
Ichabod and co. 



^living the legend 

How TV is drawing on stories 
and fairy taies of yore 

^ Grimm 

^ ^ Taking its cue (and 

name) from the 
assorted fairy tales written by 
the eponymous brothers, there 
is no shortage of recognisable 
creatures on show. 

i d Once Upon 

j i'" A Time 

^ ^ ^ ^ All your favourite fairy 

tale characters are present, from 
Snow White and Prince Charming 
to, er, the cast of Frozen. 

Da Vinci’s 
^ Demons 

^ The myths 
surrounding the life of the 
enigmatic genius take centre 
stage. Lover, inventor, fighter - few 
areas of his supposed secret life 
are left unturned. 

Penny Dreadful 

Basically a televised 
version of The League 
Of Extraordinary Gentlemen, it 
features Dracula, Frankenstein, 

Dorian Gray and more. 



Atlantis 

^ . starting out well, this 

‘^1 populist take on the 
titular lost island ultimately sank 
without a trace. 



IjH 




SdFNouu I 037 




©Rex 






IT’S BEEN ALMOSTTHREE YEARS SINCE THE AVENGERS TEAMED UP TO 
SAVE NEW YORK FROM DESTRUCTION. WITH THE WORLD SOON TO BE IN 
PERIL ONCE MORE, WE TALK TO DIRECTOR JOSS WHEDON ABOUT WHAT TO 
EXPECT FROM AVENGERS: AGEOFUITRON... s^^P%?.rpi^E«.sTEVENDEEKs 



T’S FAIR TO SAY THAT WITH AVENGERS: AGE 
OF ULTRON, JOSS WHEDON HAS A TOUGH ACT 
TO FOLLOW. WHEN YOUR LAST FRANCHISE 
OUTING FEATURED A NON COMPOS MENTIS 
NORSE GOD UNLEASHING AN ARMY OF 
ANCIENT ALIEN WARRIORS ON NEW YORK 

City, intent on beating the whole of 
humankind into subjugation, to be faced 
by a team of Marvel’s most formidable (and 
marketable) superheroes, there’s only so 
much you can do to the sequel to make it 
come out on top. 

Having taken time out for their respective 
solo movies. Age OfUltron sees Tony Iron 
Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr), Steve 
‘Captain America’ Rogers (Chris Evans) and 
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reuniting with 



Bruce ‘Hulk’ Banner (Mark Buffalo), Natasha ‘Black Widow’ Romanov (Scarlett Johansson), 
Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson). 

Age OfUltron is going to be awesome, there’s no doubt about it. It’s a given, because a) it’s 
the Avengers, and b) Joss Whedon has come back to write it/direct it/make it awesome. But 
wiU it be more awesome than the first? WiU it encapsulate the fun and sheer comic book-aping 
majesty of the first movie? Do Joss and co successfully kick it up a notch, and in the process 
make Ultron bigger, better and more badass than ever before? 

‘You know, 1 believe we do,” Whedon tells us. “But you’re trying to think of. . . the reason 
1 took the gig was when 1 started to think about, well, what do these guys still have to say to 
each other? And realising, oh my God, the interpersonal stuff is bonkers and there’s so much to 
do. And then you go about the ultimately laborious task of thinking how can we make things 
terrible and cause an action climax, and yeah, how can we take this up a notch? 

“It’s more about feeling different than about necessarily being bigger. 1 mean, 1 would have 
no problem if this film were shorter than the first one. It won’t be, because 1 just have way 
too many characters,” he laughs. “But at the same time, nobody was looking towards bigger. 
We were looking towards recapturing what people loved about the first one and then doing 
something very different with that feeling. The fact that we got to shoot all over the world and 





BIG MOVIE 

Avengers: Age Of Ultron 




^ the fact that it just has a very different palette 
and the fact that we could go bonkers with 
some of our sequences meant that it does 
play, 1 think, at a slightly higher intensity But 
if the emotional intensity is higher then that 
won’t really matter.” 

The dynamic established in the team 
proved to be a big hit in Avengers Assemble, 
particularly between Stark and Banner, 
which has sparked many a ‘science bros’ 
meme, and Black Widow and Hawkeye as 
a pair of solo-movie-less allied assassins. 
Whedon’s interpersonal approach to Age 
Of Ultron promises to dig deeper into the 
friendships and relationships among the 
team. Who knows, maybe we will finally 
find out what happened in Budapest. 

“IFEELirSATINYBITMOREOFAGROWN-UP 

movie, despite how siUy 1 like to get,” 
Whedon tells us. “For the first movie, 1 was 
very favourish [sic] to the 3D aesthetic, 
and the structure of the thing was bringing 
people together. Now they’re together, so 
needless to say, the structure of this one is 
tearing them apart. Because I’m able to get 
into their heads a little bit more, 1 get to see 
how really damaged they are and how a 
team like this, whether or not it can sustain, 
whether they can be a team. 

“It was shot very, very differently than 
the last one, and very differently from 
almost anything I’ve done. 1 really wanted 
to put people in the Avengers as opposed 
to sort of presenting the Avengers to them, 
and so the camera work is a lot less studied 
and arched, and a lot more like, ‘Oh, we 
just happened to find - Oh! Look over 
there, there’s a Hulk! You should look at 
that!’ And 1 sort of said we’re going to stop, 
not composing frames obviously, but stop 
announcing it and really try to make it more 
casual, and in doing so it turned out 1 think 
much more beautiful.” 

The change of style that Whedon refers 
to has already been made evident in various 
previews, particularly in the extended 
trailer released last year, in which the 
team swap Shawarma for a sophisticated 
Stark Tower cocktail party, punctuated by 
wisecrack-ridden attempts by the team to lift 
Thor’s hammer. However, while the scene 
may have been fun for the viewers, the 
experience of putting it together didn’t quite 
translate behind the scenes for the crew. ^ 




040 SdRIMow 



www.scifinow.co.uk 






S: AGE OF ULTRON 

Pulling The Strings 



There must always be 
a Stark in the MGU 

Robert Downey Jr on Ultron, egos 
and Mark Ruffalo 



Stark and Banner ended up friends after Avengers Assemble. Is that 
friendship going to grow some more? 

Both our characters are kind of scientists or inventor-type guys, so they 
have this natural synergy, and in this film I give him somewhere to live and 
work. It’s clear Mark [Ruffalo] and I had chemistry in the first movie, and 
so we’re expanding on that. Mark is actually more like the character he 
plays - [minus] the big green guy. I mean, you could ask him anything that 
Bruce Banner would be interested in and he can talk about it. He’s actually 
out there trying to impact things, and he knows what he’s talking about. 



Is Stark’s notoriously big ego still present for round two? 

Well, he winds up getting everyone into trouble, but he’s not doing 
it for selfish reasons. He’s doing it because he’s got a big idea, 
which is that the Avengers put themselves out of a job by 
creating a situation that will keep the world safe. 



What about your own? 

I’m the most humble guy I know! 



Does playing Stark while he’s surrounded by other 
superheroes, like in Age Of Ultron^ feel different 
to playing him in the Iron Man movies? 

Every time I play Stark it feels like the first time, and 
sometimes it’s more daunting because people have 
this projection of him, while every time you have 
to remember what it was about the character that 
made him so popular. But the nice thing is I think we 
all feel like that. Me and Mark will sometimes look 
at each other and go, ‘I don’t know what I’m meant 
to be doing’ or 1’ve forgotten my lines’. 



You filmed Age Of Ultron all over the world: 
South Africa, South Korea, Italy, Bangladesh... 
How do you enjoy filming on location? 

When you’re on location you tend to interact with 
folks more. You want to shoot at home when you 
can, but you can’t anymore if you live in LA, where 
everyone goes home after shooting. So what 
makes it fun is that we’re having continuity of 
experience with everyone. 



What about working with Joss Whedon? 

He’s super self-critical and really conscious. I 
think it’s fun that we’re now starting off with a 
known entity, and I think it’s noticeable that 
he’s got his legs under him and he’s really 
swinging from the fences. Everybody that 
Joss brought in was a natural fit, so he’s 
created this little unit where everyone 
genuinely likes and respects each other, 
and likes what we’re doing. It’s not like 
the third season of a series where no 
one’s talking and people go, “Great, 
they’re going to kill me off this week.” 



What are your thoughts on James 
Spader as Ultron? 

Casting has been the key to the 
success of these movies, and I was 
like, ‘Wow, that never even occurred 
to me’. And unlike other bad guys 
we’ve had, he’s here every day Just 
doing it up. He’s been brilliant, 
it’s been the best possible idea. 
We’re stoked we have him. 



WINDS 
”1NG 
IE IN 
.BUT 
f DOING 

flFp 

REASOM 

RDDERTDOWNEYJ^ 



subschibewww.imagineshop.co.uk 



® BIG MOVIE 

Avengers: Age Of Ultron 




Itron Assemble 

What is his deal? 





To see more 



•Remember, remember 

Ultron has a memory capacity 
of 3.2 terabytes, which can hold 
the equivalent of 54,400 hours of 
music or 992,000 photos. 



In the comics, Ultron was 
constructed by Dr Hank Pym, 
but he ultimately rebelled 
against Pym, hypnotising and 
brainwashing him. 



•Power up 

Ultron’s powers include 
superhuman strength, 
superhuman durability and 
genius-level intellect, what 
with him being an Al and all. 



•Heavy metal 

Ultron is made from an extremely 
dense, virtually indestructible iron 
based alloy called Adamantium, 
the same substance that is 
bonded to Wolverine’s skeleton. 



•0 Captain 

Ultron devised the supervillain 
team Masters of Evil, which 
consisted of Black Knight, 
Klaw, Melter, Radioactive Man 
and Whirlwind. 



Ultron created Vision from an 
android Human Torch, but Vision - 
who retained the memories of the 
Torch - turned against him. 



Ultron built himself a robot mate 
named Jocasta, and brainwashed 
Hank Pym into putting the mind of 
Janet Van Dyne in her shell. 



Though he’s had many different 
forms and incarnations, Ultron’s 
original form was six-foot-nine tall, 
and weighed 735 lbs. 



•Soaring, flying- 

Much like Iron Man, Ultron has 
rocket boosters that allow him 
to fly, as well as laser-channelled 
concussion blasters. 



Even though Jocasta was 
programmed to be loyal to Ultron, 
she eventually betrayed him and 
teamed up with the Avengers. 



www.scifinow.co.uk 



AVENGERS: AGE OE ULTRON 

Pulling The Strings 



^ “That was a weird scene for me,” Whedon 
says. “I started to shoot it, and it was terrible! 
By the end, I turned to my assistant director 
and was just like, ‘Can you make it stop?’ 
and he was like. Thank you, everybody! 
Good day!’ And 1 went off and 1 was like, 
what’s wrong with this scene? And 1 realised 
1 hadn’t given myself up to the idea of 
shooting it in a sort of casual, handheld ‘here 
we all are’, sort of ‘happy to be here, let’s live 
in the moment’ way. 

“And then 1 also realised that 1 had just 
shot an entire movie that way. Much Ado 
About Nothing [his 2012 modern-day 
Shakespeare adaptation], which is only 
people sitting around and drinking. 1 was 
like, ‘Oh right, right! I’ll stop composing and 
start, just, mixing it up. Making it nice and 
messy’ So we came back the next day to a 
completely different concept of how that 
works, and people really respond to their 
casual camaraderie.” 



ANOTHER ISSUE THAT THE SEQUEL FACED WAS WHO TO PICK AS A BADDIE, WITH TWO OF MARVEL'S 

formidable villains. Magneto and Doctor Doom, securely fastened under the Fox banner of the 
X-Men and Fantastic Four series. Moreover, it’s fair to say that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was a 
phenomenal hit in Avengers Assemble. He left behind the last shred of nobility and dignity he 
possessed at the start of Thor, and embodied something more hateful and despicable than the 
supervillains that came before, becoming a scene-stealer and a lot of fans’ favourite character, 
even though he was a brain full of cats, as Banner so memorably put it. He had an amazing 
ability to make fans not only hate him with the intensity of the Tesseract, but make them also 
want to have his babies. That last trait might be at least partly down to Hiddleston himself. 

Sci-fi sequels often have a good track record with villains. The first film in a series is usually 
there to set up the heroes, and the second allows us to have more fun with the forces fighting 
against them. As the movie’s subtitle borrows his name, we can expect to see a lot of Ultron 
(James Spader) - literally - in the sequel. Ultron’ s trailer debut offered a lot to get excited about, 
from his broken, robotic body staggering into Stark Tower to the soundtrack of Spader reciting 
lyrics from Pinocchio’s Tve Got No Strings in a voice far too harsh and creepy for comfort. 

“Ultron has been such a mainstay viUain, and because he’s a robot he’s very different from 
Loki, and also he gives a chance to create a character - actually, 1 should say create with James 
and ILM [visual effects company Industrial light & Magic] - a character that really is unique, 
that shares an ability with Loki to get inside the Avengers and call them on their bullshit,” says 
Whedon regarding the chrome-domed supervillain. “But unlike Loki, he’s actually just not 
stable! He is brilliant, but a little unhinged, and there are opportunities for a kind of humour 
that you don’t usually get to play with for artificial intelligence, and at the same time he’s ^ 





Super siblings Quicksilver 
and Scarlet Witch make 
their full-feature debut. 



SUBSCRIBE WWW.IMAGINESHORCO.uk 



SdFiNouu 043 







BIG MOVIE 

Avengers: Age Of Ultron 



the big, eight-foot metal guy. He’s very imposing. And that combinahon of James Spader’s 
idiosyncratic, extraordinary wandering mind inside this towering, terrifying body is just 
a delight.” 

AS IF THEY DIDN'T ALREADY HAVE THEIR HANDS FULL WITH THE HUNDREDS DF MINI ULTRDNS THE 

trailers saw them pitted against. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will also face sibling duo Scarlet Witch 
and Quicksilver, referred to by HYDRA high-up Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) 
as heralds of “the Age of Miracles” and played by Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson 
respechvely. Though the characters will likely be recruited as Avengers by the end of the movie, 
they start off as allies of Ultron. “1 couldn’t just have one villain whose only sidekick is himself,” 
Whedon jokes. “1 wanted more perspectives on what’s wrong with the Avengers.” 

Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver - aka Wanda and Pietro Maximoff - made their first 
appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldiefs mid-credits scene, locked up in an 
underground HYDRA facility by Strucker, both seemingly on the verge of madness. Their 
combined seven seconds of screen time, although brief, was haunting and eerily captivating, so 
really we were already curious to see what Olsen and Taylor-Johnson would be bringing to the 
table before the first trailer dropped. 

“They are phenomenal, those two,” says Whedon regarding the cast’s two newest additions. 
“They have enormous gravitas and they are harbouring a lot of anger. The characters, 1 mean 
Lizzie and Aaron, are absolute goofbaUs. But then when the camera rolls, they whip out the 
cheekbones and glare into the lens, and you’re Eke, ‘Ooh, nooo, don’t be mad at me’. You know, 
they really invested in the pain that drives these kids, and were never afraid to go to a dark place 




with them and then work from there, which 
is exciting, because they are a very different 
flavour to we’ve experienced with this kind 
of stuff.” 

The introductions of the Scarlet Witch 
and Quicksilver, coupled with the presence 
of another robot in The Vision (played by 
former JARVIS Paul Bettany) and Andy 
Serkis as Black PantherviRam Ulysses 
Klaw (likely a lead-up to the 2018 Black 
Panther movie, a theory backed up by the 
apparent presence of a Dora Milaje, one of 
the Panther’s elite female bodyguards, in 
the latest trailer), sees the Marvel Cinematic 
Universe getting even bigger. What direction 
it expands in will be determined by the 
climax of Age Of Ultron, but whatever 
happens, you can be sure that it’ll be yet 
another game-changer. O' 



Avengers: Age Of Ultron will be released in 
UK cinemas on 24 April. 







AVENGERS: AGE OE ULTRON- 

Pulling The Strings 




From the mouths 
of knaves 

Ultron chews the scenery with 
savage glee. Here are Marvel’s 
finest villains doing the same 

“I won’t touch 
Barton, not until 
I make him kill 
you! Slowly, ^ 
intimately, n / 
in every way ( . ' 
he knows 
you fear! ^ 
And then he’ll 
wake just long 
enough to see 
his good work, 
and when he 
screams I’ll split 
his skull! This is 
my bargain, you 
mewling quim!” 
LOKI 



“Hold ( 

still, you ( 
little \ 

prick!” 

OBADIAH STANE 



“WHAT 
ARE YOU 
DOOOOING? 

ROMAN THE 
ACCUSER 



“I AM THE 
MANDARIN! 

ALDRICH 

KILLIAN 



“Darkness 

returns, 

Asgardian. Have 
you come to ^ 
witness the 
end of your ( 
universe?” v 

MALEKITH X 













STARE TOWER THEATRE. FLT-IN 

NYC, UNITED STATES of AMERICA / SHOWS BEGIN AT 6''“ 

*««UEDNESDAY MABCH 11 *** 






15 OF THE WORST •*ST^ES MAWEL 
MADE ON THE ROAD TO THE MCT 



■ SJLM 






ii: 



AN AVERAGE EVENING FILLED WITH FORGETTABLE FILMS 



AI 

ts 




MARCH 11, B015 



AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTROFF^^ 

Earth’s Mightiest Zeroes I 




GENERATION X 

1996 



Dir: Jack Sholder 

Cast: Finola Hughes, Jeremy 

Ratchford, Heather McComb 



like the comic series that inspired it. 
Generation X was meant to be a teen 
X-Men for the cynical Nineties generation. 
Emma Frost (Finola Hughes) and Sean 
Cassidy (Jeremy Ratchford) act as mentors 
to a group of young mutants against the 
machinations of evil scientist Doctor 
Russell Tresh, played by a supremely 
hammy Matt Frewer. It didn’t endear itself 
to fans, with the whitewashing of Chinese 
American character Jubilee (played here 
by Heather McComb), and team members 
Chamber and Husk were written out 
simply because the budget couldn’t cope 
with their powers. 




^HOWARD 
Ur THE DUCK 

1986 

Dir: Willard Huyck 

Cast: Chip Zien, Lea Thompson, 

Tim Robbins, Jeffrey Jones 



One of the more embarrassing films 
that George Lucas has put his name to, 
Howard The Duck is simply dreadful. 
Starting out as a fish-out-of-water story 
as Howard is hurled from a universe of 
anthropomorphic ducks to contemporary 
Cleveland, the second half is more action- 
orientated, with Jeffrey Jones chewing the 
scenery as a doctor possessed by an evil 
alien and looking somewhere between 
Deadite and Kane from Poltergeist IL The 
comic’s satirical edge didn’t translate to 
the big screen, and the love scene between 
Howard and Beverley (Lee Thompson) is 
uniquely awkward. 




^THE FANTASTIC 

Wfour 

1994 

Dir: Oley Sassone 

Cast: Alex Hyde-White, Rebecca 

Staab, Jay Underwood 



Watching this unreleased Roger Corman 
production is a crystallising moment for a 
comic movie fan, because while schlock 
like Red Sonja (1985) might be over-the- 
top, at least it looked somewhat like a 
movie. The Fantastic Foufsmirmscvile 
budget shows in every frame, and the 
acting is some of the most camp and 
ridiculous you are ever likely to witness. 
In one particularly cringeworthy scene, 
the Thing (Michael Bailey Smith) is 
transformed back into his human form 
when Alicia Masters (Kat Green) says she 
loves him. Barf. 




^CAPTAIN 
Ur AMERICA 

1990 

Dir: Albert Pyun 

Cast: Matt Salinger, Scott Paulin, 
Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox 



There’s a line in the low-budget Captain 
America (1990) that jars: “He may not 
be Superman, but he’ll be a living 
symbol of what this country stands 
for.” They’d never get that past legal 
today, and they’d never get this type of 
cheese past a modern audience either. 
Matt Salinger’s incarnation of the Cap 
isn’t particularly heroic; twice he fakes 
being sick to steal a car. But he does save 
the President, so that’s probably fine. He 
certainly isn’t the Steve Rogers we have 
become accustomed to as shown in the 
MCU. It’s lucky Marvel have been able to 
take it back and relaunch it. 





THE PUNISHER 

1989 

Dir: Mark Goldblatt 

Cast: Dolph Lundgren, Louis Gossett 

Jr, Joerien Krabbe, Kim Miyori 



MAN-THING 

2005 

Dir: Brett Leonard 

Cast: Mark Stevens, Rachael Taylor, 

Matthew Le Nevez, Rawiri Paratene 





Nothing says ‘Eighties action flick’ like 
gratuitous violence, something this 
1989 live-action adaptation has in spades. 
Frank Castle (Dolph Lundgren) is an 
ex-cop-turned-vigilante whose family 
was murdered by the mob. Five years 
into his deadly crusade, he gets embroiled 
in a turf war between the Mob and the 
Yakuza, with bloody consequences. It’s 
bursting with action-movie cliches, like 
a shoot-out at the docks, henchmen 
jumping away from explosions, and the 
character’s origins are largely the same - 
although he doesn’t wear the trademark 
skull emblem. 



The guardian spirit of the By water 
swamps is angry. Since oil tycoon Fred 
Schist bought the tribal lands from 
chieftain Ted Sallis, people have gone 
missing. Sheriff Williams (Matthew Le 
Nevez) investigates the disappearances, 
and discovers that the area is being 
protected by the plant-like creature called 
Man-Thing - like a more violent FemGully. 
The character’s movie origins are more 
magical than the comics, where a young 
biochemist injects himself with Super 
Soldier Serum and crashes his car into a 
swamp. It’s flawed monster-movie fare, 
but a decent effort. 




^ELEKTRA 

2005 

Dir: Rob Bowman 

Cast: Jennifer Garner, Goran 

Visnjic, Kirsten Prout, Will Yun Lee 



Revived from her death at the end of 
Daredevil, Elektra (Jennifer Gamer) 
trains under martial arts master Stick 
(Terrance Stamp). She is expelled for 
being too full of rage and becomes 
a contract killer, only to end up 
protecting her intended targets from 
ninja crime syndicate. The Hand. 

The generic ninja plot is nothing to 
write home about, and sadly this and 
Catwoman (2004) are often unfairly 
cited as examples of why female-led 
superhero movies don’t work, when 
in reality they were just terrible 



movies that strayed too far from the 
source material. 





WrsBIBE www.imagineshop.co.uk 








W X-MEN ORIGINS: 
« WOLVERINE 

2009 

Dir: Gavin Hood 

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, 
Lynn Collins, Ryan Reynolds 



SPIDER-MAN 3 

2007 



DR STRANGE 

^ 1978 

Dir: Philip DeGuere Jr 

Cast: Peter Hooten, Jessica Waltere 



Dir: Sam Raimi 

Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, 
James Franco, Topher Grace 



A plodding take on the lore of Dr 
Strange that changes his origins from a 
neurosurgeon on the path of redemption 
into a cocky psychiatrist with an eye for 
the ladies. Morgan Le Fay’s master sends 
her on a mission to destroy the Sorcerer 
Supreme. The movie unsurprisingly 
wasn’t picked up for a series, and has 
never officially been released on DVD. 



Too many cooks can spoil the broth. In 
Spider-Man 3’s case, it was an over- 
abundance of super villainy as Sandman 
(Thomas Haden Church), the second 
Green Goblin (James Franco) and a hastily 
crammed-in Venom (Topher Grace) vied 
for screen time with the web-slinger. And 
let us not forget that dance scene. 



It’s hard to know where to begin when 
starting a list of what made Wolverine 
such a failure: the filmmakers seemingly 
not knowing what a Wolverine actually 
is, memory-wiping adamantium bullets 
- there are some spectacularly stupid 
moments in Hugh Jackman’s first solo 
outing in the X-Men film series. Gambit 
(Taylor Kitsch) is criminally underused, 
some of the better characters are killed 
off far too early and what kind of perverse 
mind sews up the Merc with a Mouth’s 
cake hole? Possibly the best unintentional 
comedy of 2009 for the claw effects in the 
bathroom scene. Not even a naked Hugh 
Jackman can win this one back. 








AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRO 

Earth’s Mightiest Zeroes 



GHOST RIDER: 
SPIRIT OF 
VENGEANCE 



2012 

Dirs: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor 
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, 
Idris Elba, Violante Placido 



If you want to stare into the face of 
madness, watch Nicolas Cage’s first 
transformation into the Ghost Rider. Spirit 
Of Vengeance picks up Johnny Blaze’s 
story eight years later. The Rider is tasked 
with protecting a young boy - who asks all 
the important questions - from the Devil 
(Ciaran Hinds). Somehow makes the first 
film look good in comparison. 




NICK FURY: 
AGENT OF 
SHIELD 



1998 

Dir: Rod Hardy 

Cast: David Hasselhoff, Lisa Rinna, 
Sandra Hess, Neil Roberts 



The Nineties were a simpler time - a 
time when SHIELD’S top man could be 
played by the bloke who sang Looking For 
Freedom and spent a sizeable chunk of the 
decade running in slow motion. For all the 
silliness you might associate with the Hoff, 
Nick Fury: Agent Of SHIELD is quite fun. 





BLADE: TRINITY 

2004 



Dir: David S Coyer 

Cast: Wesley Snipes, Ryan Reynolds, 
Jessica Biel, Dominic Purcell 



We have Blade and X-Men to thank for 
the comic movie revival that moved the 
genre away from dodgy production values, 
to Hollywood blockbuster. However, the 
final instalments of both series proved to 
be a mess. Their first mistake was giving 
super-badass loner Blade a crew, even if 
that does include Ryan Reynolds. He’s not 
a people person, and never needed to be. 



THE DEATH 
OF THE 
INCREDIBLE HULK 



1990 

Dir: Bill Bixby 

Cast: Bill Bixby, Lou Ferrigno, 
Elizabeth Gracen 



The last of The Incredible HulkTV movies 
made with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno 
as David Banner and his Hulk alter ego. 
Banner poses as a janitor to get close to 
a scientist who might be able to cure his 
condition. Although The Incredible Hulk 
retains a certain charm, the look and feel 
of the movies never left the Seventies. 
Banner character is killed off by the end. 




2006 

Dir: Brett Ratner 

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen 



If you’re a fan of Chris Claremont’s The 
Dark Phoenbc Saga, chances are you left 
The Last Stand feeling disappointed. X2 
dropped plenty of hints about Jean Grey’s 
growing powers. Sadly, the script reduced 
the Phoenix Force to a split personality, 
and poor Jean was relegated to throwing 
shade. The casting of Vinnie Jones as the 
Juggernaut baffles to this day. 






IllllllllllllllllXlIlIIllIIlIIlIIIIIllIIlIIlIIIllIltllll 

ALSO SHOWING 



.THREE MALIGNED MARVEL MOVIES . 
^ WORTHYOEASECONDCHANCE ^ 

/ m PUNISHER: 

WAR ZONE 

T. 2008 

Dir: Lexi Alexander 

^ Cast: Ray Stevenson, Dominic West, 

* Julie Benz, Wayne Knight, Colin Salmon 

Ray Stevenson replaces Thomas Jane as Frank 
Castle in the reboot of The Punisher, in which 
Castle goes to war against disfigured mob boss 
Jigsaw (Dominic West). Punisher: War Zone is 
marred by clunky dialogue, but like the Dolph 
Lundgren version, its Eighties movie violence is 
simultaneously terrible and entertaining. 






DAREDEVIL 

2003 

Dir: Mark Steven Johnson 
Cast: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, 

Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan 

Colin Farrell aside, this isn’t as bad as you 
remember. Blind attorney by day, costumed 
vigilante by night. Daredevil is a different kind 
of hero. He’s more conflicted than Batman, 
less gleeful than Spider-Man, and Ben Affleck 
inhabited the role well. Jennifer Garner showed 
promise - if only they’d given her a better solo 
film. The Directors Cut restores 30 minutes of 
material, and brings the film together much 
better than the theatrical release. 

HULK 

2003 

Dir: Ang Lee 

Cast: Eric Bana, Jennifer Connelly, 

Sam Elliott, Nick Nolte 

It may not have worked, but at least Ang Lee 
was trying something different. Incorporating 
comic panels into the action sort of worked, 
but Hulk at least tried to flex a style muscle or 
two. Lee was over-ambitious in bringing too 
much psychodrama into a story about a big 
green angry dude, although the result was not 
quite as terrible as it’s made out to be. 



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THESIGNAL-f- 

Making Contact I 



I T FEELS LIKE A LONG TIME SINCE WE'VE HAD A 
GOOD FILM THAT SHOWED HUMANITY MAKING 
CONTACT WITH ALIEN LIFE. WE’VE HAD BAD 
HORRORS, WORSE BLOCKBUSTERS AND OUR 

X-Files box sets, so William Eubank’s 
smart, sensitive and beautifully shot 
The Signal comes as a welcome relief. It 
starts with a road trip, as Nic (Brenton 
Thwaites), Haley (Olivia Cooke) and 
Jonah (Beau Knapp) are travelling 
when they take a detour to find the 
house of a hacker. Following a shocking 
event, Nic wakes up in an underground 
facility where a man in a HAZMAT suit 
(Laurence Fishburne) tells him that they 
encountered an extraterrestrial - but 
why can’t he leave? 

Director and co-writer Eubank 
explains how he made his low budget 
work for him, keeping the audience 
guessing, and why good sci-fi is all 
about the people in it... 

C AIM HIGH WITH YOUR LOW BUDGET 

It’s fair to say that sci-fi isn’t necessarily 
the easiest genre to go for when you’re 
working on an indie budget, but Eubank 
tells us that it helped him to streamline 
his concept. “Initially, I honestly wanted 
to make a sort of Twilight Zone movie,” 
he remembers. “It wasn’t like I was 
trying to create something that bends 
genres like it does, where it starts out as 
a drama and then gets more fantastic, 
but that’s just where I naturally went. 

“When you want to try to do 
something that has some big concepts 
or big ideas, but you don’t have the 
world to spend, a lot of the time 
that works itself into your story, but 
hopefully in a way that maybe even 
improves the story.” 

C FIND THE PERFECT CAST 

It doesn’t take long before you find 
yourself bonding with The Signal's 
three leads. Well-written and very well 
performed, Nic, Haley and Jonah are 
easy to like and root for. “I got so lucky 
with all these kids,” explains Eubank. 
“Olivia is just wonderful. Beau is 
wonderful, Brenton is wonderful. I could 
see that they’re really good people, and 
I knew that they would be friends upon 
meeting each other.” 

Of course, the biggest star in the film 
is Fishburne, who brings his trademark 
gravitas to the role of Damon. “Honestly, 
I have no idea!” laughs Eubank when 
we ask how they got him. “We sent it 
to him, then I got a crazy call saying he 
had read it and loved it and was going to 
call me, and I couldn’t believe it. I never 
in a million years would have thought 
that we could be fortunate enough to 
get him. In my mind he’s a real sci-fi 



Director William Eubank had only 
, good things to say about up-and- 

comer Brenton Thwaites (left). 

INITIALLY, I WANTED 
TO MAKE A TWILIGHT 

ZONE MOVIE WILLIAM EUBANK 





icon, and to have him express any sort 
of interest was amazing. To have this 
contrast between Brenton and Olivia 
and Beau, who are newer, mixing that 
with Laurence’s experience was really 
fun to watch. Got really fortunate there!” 

C MAINTAIN THE MYSTERY 

Although we’re told by Damon that 
Nic might have encountered an alien 
life form, we’re not really sure exactly 
what is going on. We know he’s being 
held prisoner by some kind of authority, 
but we don’t know how he got there, or 
what’s happening to Hay ley and Beau. 
The more teasing details we’re given, 
the less clear it becomes. 

“It’s easy to write a mystery when you 
know what it is,” laughs Eubank. “The 
trick is making sure people understand 
the titbits that they need to understand 
as you’re experiencing it, and you really 
have to rely on your friends and other 
confidantes to help you distil that. 

“You’re like, ‘Wait a second, is this 
going to be clear, or am I just out here 
on a limb?’ You need to bounce it off a 
lot of other people to make sure you’re 
getting the message across. I knew that 
people would be second-guessing it!” 

Cl MAKE IT LOOK GOOD 

The Signal doesn't look like your 
average sci-fi movie. We start with our 
characters on the road. When Nic goes 
underground, those beautiful shots of 
stunning scenery are missed by both 
the character and the audience. 

“I prescribe to the feeling that if I was 
able to take whatever movie I’m working 




053 



on and turn it into a flipbook, not only 
do I want to feel like this thing changes 
and shifts narrative, but I want to make 
sure it feels colourful and alive,” stresses 
Eubank. “I like my movies to have some 
colourfulness to them and at least 
strike you when you look at them. I was 
[working with] Nick Cassavetes, and he 
was like, ‘My rule of thumb is whatever 
looks the best.’ That’s how you choose. 
Nobody will ever fault you.” 

CHOOSE YOUR INSPIRATIONS WISELY 

There are some obvious touchstones 
for The Signal, but Eubank tells us that 
he looked beyond the genre he was 
working in for inspiration. 

“There’s a lot of homage to THX-type 
stuff in the facility and Kubrickian stuff. 
But even more so, I grew up watching 
Dragon Ball Z,' he enthuses. “I loved 
anime growing up. The action is so 
powerful and well designed, and there 
is a really amazing usage of space. I’ve 
always been a big fan.” 

When it came to making sure the film 
had a heart, Eubank is quick to credit 
an American master. “I’m a huge fan of 
John Hughes films, it’s not like I’m even 
remotely in the same realm or anything, 
or could hope to make films as great as 
he did, but I love his characters. I really 
like connecting with my characters in a 
way that I feel like they could be a friend 
of mine. When you get down to it, all of 
the characters have good hearts, and 
I’ve always appreciated that.” . ■ 



The SignalwlW be released in UK 
cinemas on 27 March. 




^MUST-SEE TV 

I Outlander 




WORDS POPPY-JAY PALMER 

INTERVIEWSSTEVENASH 



054 I SdRNow 



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1 

■ 










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C0TTISH18TH CENTURY WARTIME 
TIME TRAVEL FICTION IS A PRETTY 
NICHE SUBJECT, WHICH IS PROBABLY 
WHY THE STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES 

OutlanderwiW never be the next 
Game Of Thrones. But with its 
obscure subject matter comes 
a loyal and cult-like following. 
Outlandefs first episode went 
out to 720,000 US viewers last 
summer, but eight episodes 
later, fans are completely hooked on the 
raunchy historical fantasy, and are eagerly 
awaiting the second part of Season One, 
soon to air in the UK on Amazon Prime. 

Most of Oudandefs cult-like following 
seems to be made up of readers of 
American author Diana Gabaldon’s novel 
series of the same name. Gabaldon wrote 
the first instalment, Outlander, in 1991, so 
the fanbase had been waiting for the TV 
show to come along for a good 24 years. 
Thankfully, the wait was worth it, judging 
by the steadily growing viewing figures and 
favourable reviews. Show creator Ronald D 
Moore - the mastermind behind Battlestar 
Galactica, Gaprica and most recently Helix 
- insists that sticking closely to the books 
is what has led Outlander to become such a 
hit with Gabaldon fans. 

“We sort of have the philosophy of we 
don’t make changes unless we have to,” 
he tells us. “And then, if we do, we always 
strive to get back to where the book was 
and sort of get back on the path. So you 
always have a guide of what you’re trying to 
accomplish, and we have integrity to what 
the series is at this point. We’ve changed 
certain things. We’ve made certain 
adjustments. And so you are honour-bound 
to maintain the consistency of that going 
forward, especially for the audience that 
has never read the books, so they’re just 
watching the show. So you’re always trying 
to keep an eye on the book and keep an 
eye on what you’ve established in terms of 
continuity and mythology, and just keep 
moving forward.” 

As with the books, the show’s first 
season follows World War 11 combat 
nurse Glaire Randall (Gaitriona Balfe), 
who finds herself accidentally transported 
through time to 1743 when she should 
be on her second honeymoon with her 
husband in Inverness. Waking up in the 
highlands smack-bang in the middle 
of a skirmish between Redcoats and 
Highlander rebels, she is rescued by a 
dashing kilted warrior called Jamie Fraser 
(Sam Heughan), and the two embark on a 
whirlwind romance. 

Seeing her characters come to life a 
quarter of a century after they were created 
has been a treat for Gabaldon, and she’s a 
big fan of the show’s casting. “They’ve 
done beautifully,” she says of Balfe and 



OUTLANDER ♦ 

Highland Fling I 



Heughan. “They are much, much better 
than 1 ever thought they’d be. 1 was 
amazed when 1 saw their first audition 
tapes. In fact, 1 wrote to Ron [aid D Moore] 
and to his production partner, Meril [Davis], 
and 1 said, ‘Oh my God. 1 didn’t believe this 
was actually possible. You found him.’ And 
it was just fantastic.” 

Balfe insists that playing Glaire has 
changed her as a person. “Just in terms 
of getting through this amazing 
undertaking of putting so much time 
into the show and every day showing up 
and playing this really strong, very resilient 
character, 1 think it showed me how much 
strength and resilience 1 have. You don’t 
go through something like that without 
sort of realising. Wow, that’s a big 
achievement,’ and you grow from that. 

So 1 think, if anything, Glaire’s either 
brought my inner strength out or shown 
me that I’m maybe stronger than 1 thought 
1 was previously.” 

Strangely, Heughan thinks the same of 
his relationship with Jamie. “You know 
the kind of rough arc of the character 
and where we’re going to go, and we’ve 
obviously read the books,” he tells us. “But 
until you’ve actually lived that moment and 
discovered what that moment is, you never 
quite know fully what the character is. 

Then you bring yourself to the part, so it all 
reflects back into your personal life as well. 

“1 think in the second part of the 
season, you discover a lot more about 
Jamie. He’s kind of finding his place in 
the world. He’s got new responsibilities. 

He’s got to deal with relationships that he 
would rather not deal with, [like] with his 
sister and with his personal relationship 
with his dead father. And we start to see 
the stubborn side of his pride. So he’s less 
of the sort of idealistic man in the second 
part of the season, and we start seeing 
his failings or the chinks in the armour. 

And yeah, 1 mean, 1 guess all that stuff 
with relationships, [you see that] he’s very 
honourable and he learns a lot.” 




Caitriona Balfe plays Claire, who is separated 
from her fiancee Frank (Tobias Menzies). 



SdFNCW 055 








i 




^MUST-SEE TV 

I Outlander 



Balfe and Heughan have another 
challenge coming up in during the back 
end of Season One, as the show approaches 
the infamous ‘spanking’ incident. The 
scene, which can be found in book one of 
the series, features Jamie whipping Claire 
with his sword belt by way of punishment, 
and has prompted much discussion among 
readers. It’s a difficult topic to tackle on the 
screen, but Balfe believes it’s handled in the 
best possible taste. 

“1 think we all knew a lot of people would 
be interested in seeing how we would tackle 
it,” she tells us. “But you know, first and 
foremost, we have to remember this: you 
have to look at it in the mind frame of 1743. 
It’s very hard, as a modern person, to see 
that this is okay under any circumstance; 
but in 1743, this was a very justified form 
of punishment that a husband would mete 
out. But we [didn’t want to] take it lightly. 
We wanted to approach it very respectfully. 
And we talked a lot about it. We met a few 



In the past, Claire comes into contact with 
highland warrior Jamie (Sam Heughan). 



times. We choreographed it quite well. And, 
yeah, when it came to the day, we just tried 
to give it the respect it deserved. 

“She finds it very hard to wrap her mind 
around this man that she’s fallen in love 
with, what he’s about to do. There’s so much 
disbelief in the beginning. In the context 
of their marriage, they had to figure out a 
way to get past this. And 1 think it was really 
important that, even though she may not 
have been able to accept what he did, there 
had to be a coming to an understanding of 
his reasons for it, and that really allowed 
her to find a way to forgive him.” 

“1 think, ultimately, Jamie, whether 
or not he believes it’s the right thing to 
do, he just knows he has to do it to teach 
her a lesson, and that’s the way he’s been 
brought up,” adds Heughan. “They both 
learn a lesson about their relationship. He 
comes to her and declares that he will never 
do it again. So to go through that whole 
experience strengthens their relationship 
and moves it forward.” 







“IT WAS REALLY 
IMPORTANTTHAT, 
EVEN THOUGH 
SHE MAY NOT 
HAVE BEEN ABLE 
TO ACCEPT WHAT 
HE DID, THERE 
HAD TO BE AN 
UNDERSTANDING 
OF HIS REASONS" 

numoMiiufE 



AS WELL AS THE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE 

spanking - or ‘tawsing’ as it’s called in the 
books - Outlander is aided by plenty of 
experts on all things Scottish to consult the 
show into authenticity heaven. 

“We actually have a variety of 
consultants on the show,” says Moore. 
“There’s a full-time historian who gets all 
of the scripts, and we consult with [them] 
at the script level. There are also technical 
consultants that work with costume, with 
set design, language coaches and dialect 
coaches and herbologists for the medicine. 
We’ll bring in medical technicians on the 
day to do things with bandages and splints 
and that sort of thing. In terms of how the 
actors wear their costumes, that’s pretty 
much left up to the costume department 
and their interaction with the actors. And 
1 believe there’s a significant amount of 
freedom for the Highlanders how each of 
them wears the specific kilt and what they 
are comfortable in.” 

“Terry [Dresbach, the show’s costume 
designer] has obviously done a fantastic 
job with the costumes, but we’ve kind of 
got our own freedom to express ourselves 
as well,” says Heughan. “Nothing is set in 
stone, especially at that time period. But 
we’ve also got these amazing extras in 
the show that are part of Clanranald [an 
educational organisation that promotes 
increased awareness of Scottish culture], 
and 1 always feel kind of sorry for them at 
break time or at tea time when they are all 
marched off in rank and file. They’ve really 
lived this for us, and it’s fantastic. So when 
you are on set, the Redcoats are acting like 
a regiment, or the Highlanders are there 
netting fire to things. Clanranald, they 
are a group of re-enactors that live in the 
area, and they live and breathe this stuff. 



both the Highlanders and the Redcoats, 
and they’ve built a fort. . . that we went 
and visited once, and so we do depend on 
them to bring authenticity to a lot of the 
background players and provide texture 
and detail.” 

This authenticity happily extends all 
the way to the Scottish landscapes, as the 
show is often filmed on location in the 
Highlands. Scottish culture is so deep- 
rooted in the story and the characters 
that it seems ridiculous to film Outlander 
anywhere else. 

“1 think it’s so vital that we are there in 
Scotland,” Balfe says. “It informs 
everything that we do. You know, the 
landscape is so beautiful. The places that 
we go to shoot, the castles or the different 
locations, they add just so much texture to 
the show. And, you know, yeah, it’s cold. It’s 
rainy. But that’s the way it is there. 1 think 
that just adds a great realism to it, and 1 
^ never complain.” 

kj Outlander wiW be available 

to stream on Amazon 
Prime Instant Video later 
this year. 




There will be a lot here for 
fans of the books to enjoy. 



056 SdRNOW 



www.scifinow.co.uk 









OUT OF KILT-ER 



Scotland has played home to many a 
sci-fi/fantasy tale. Here’s a visitor’s guide. . . 



Summerisle 

THE WICKER MAN (1973) 

The island once 
earned a pittance 
through fishing 
and sheep 
farming, until Lord 
Summerisleturned 
the inhabitants 
onto crops 
and paganism. 



Highlands 



DunBroch 

BRAVE (2012) 

Merida and the rest of the 
DunBroch Clan reside in the 
fictitious and somewhat 
magical land of their namesake 
intheScottish Highlands. 



X-MEN COMICS (1977-) 

Muir Island, founded by Dr Moira 
MacTaggert, is the home of Earth’s 
largest and most comprehensive 
mutant research centre. 



Hogsmeade 

HARRY POTTER (2001-11) 

Home of Hogwarts, The Three 
Brooksticks and Madam 
Puddifoot's, Hogsmeadevillage 
is located somewhere between 
Dufftown and Achintee, and is the 
only all wizard settlement in Britain. 



North East 
Scotland 



Glencoe 

HIGHLANDER (1986) 

Connor MacLeod settles in 
Glencoe in 1541 with his newwitf 
buttheirpeaceful Highland life is 
interrupted by a visit from Juan 
Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez. 



Perthshire 



Glasgow 

PERFECT SENSE (20': 

As an epidemic that cause: 
loss of sensory perception 
begins to spread throughout 
theglobe, a chef and an 
epidemiologist from Glasgow 
meetandfallinlove. 



Edinburgh 
& Lothians 



DEATH WATCH (2002) 

When aTV company triesto 
film a terminally ill woman’s 
last days alive, she is forced to 
flee her home in Glasgow and 
go on the run. 



UNDER THE SKIN (2013) 

An alien in a human costume 
travels around Glasgow in 
a white van and picks up 
unsuspecting, horny men to 
take backto her lair. 



Argyll 



Tt- 



CentraL 



Glasgow & 
Around 



Southern 

Scotland 



Loch Ness 

LOCH NESS (1996) 

When a disgruntled university tutor 
travels to Scotland to continue his 
deceased colleague’s research on 
the Loch Ness Monster, sighting 
Nessywilleithermakeorbreakhim. 



Blackness Gastle 

DOOMSDAY (2008) 

Afterthe Reaper Virus causes 
most of the Scottish population to 
turn savage, a scientist starts his 
own colony of uninfected medieval 
knights in Blackness Gastle. 



Edinburgh 

OUTCAST(2010) 

A beast stalks a mother and 
her son in an outiyingdistrict of 
Ed i n b u rgh wh i I e t h ey try to protect 
themselves with Geltic magic. 



Hadrian’s Wall 

BLACKADDER: BACK&FORTH (1999) 

After several disastrous attempts to travel 
in time, Blackadder and Baldrick land in 
Roman Britain, where'they see Blackadder’s 
centurion ancestor and Roman-era Baldrick 
guarding Hadrian’s Wall. 







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his dog, Bosco, disapproves. As well as beiag 
a serial-killer movie, it’s also a dark comedy 
- and a love story, and a tragedy In fact, it’s a 
bit of everything put together. 

‘Teah!” laughs Satrapi. “It’s a little bit of 
a romantic comedy, it’s a comedy but not 
really, a horror film but not really, a drama 
but not really, and all of that at the same 
time. 1 think it looks much more like a 
patchwork than a unilateral colour kind of 
thing, but life is a patchwork, life is up and 
down. 1 think we have to say, if you want 
to meet the loveliest, nicest serial kiUer in 
the world, go and watch this movie! 1 don’t 
know, if it’s me and 1 had to go and watch a 
film that makes me scared and makes me 
laugh and everything, 1 wiU go and watch 
this movie. Really, 1 made the movie that 1 
wanted to go and watch.” 

This strange but utterly engaging tonal 
mixture might seem like a drastic change, 
but pinning down a theme in Satrapi’s work 
isn’t an easy task. Following Persepolis, 

Satrapi moved into live action in 2011, 
adapting her tragi-comic graphic novel 
Chicken With Plums before making crime 
comedy The Gang Of The Jotas in 2012. 
Throughout this genre hopping, her sense ].■=>■ 



THE VOICES- 

I Hear Voices 



WE SPEAK TO 
MARJANE SATRAPI 
ABOUT HER ENGLISH- 
.. LANGUAGE DEBUT 
WITH THE STRANGEST 
KILLER OF THE YEAR 

WORDS JONATHAN HATFULL 

PRENCH-IRANIAN FILMMAKER 
L MARJANE SATRAPI’SCOMING-OF-AGE 
r AUTGBIGGRAPHY PERSEPGLIS WAS GNE GF 
I THE MG8TBELGVEG GRAPHIC NGVEL8GF 

the last decade. Her 2007 film, based on the 
book, was met with similar acclaim. Now, 
she’s made her English-language debut in 
decidedly different territory. The Voices 
is a serial-kiUer movie starring Hollywood 
heartthrob Ryan Reynolds as Jerry Hickfang, 
a single but cheery factory worker who is 
compelled to kill women and store them in 
his fridge by his cat, Mr Whiskers, although 



r 



SdFNOM 061 



CULT CINEMA 

The Voices 



& 



of humour remains constant, as does 
a willingness to subvert preconceived 
ideas, one of which being the fact that we 
shouldn’t like a serial killer. 

“The script was really talking a lot to 
me,” she enthuses. “1 read it in the night, 

1 was like, What the fuck is that?’ And in 
the morning 1 was like, ‘How do 1 love the 
serial kiUer so much? 1 love this character, 
and how am 1 going to do it?’ It’s one thing 
to say that you like a serial killer, but then 
it’s another thing to make people like him. 
‘Okay, now show it to us how you’re going 
to make it work!’ That was very challenging, 
so therefore 1 was very, very interested in 
doing it.” 

In addition to being Satrapi’s English- 
language debut, it’s also the first film that 
she hasn’t written. She tells us that working 
from someone else’s idea proved to be both 
liberating and inspiring. “To tell you the 
truth, when you write a script yourself, it’s 
a very comfortable loan, because you know 
everything, you know all the details,” she 
explains. “Also, since you have written it, 
it’s very difficult to have enough distance to 
see what actually works and what doesn’t. 
When a script comes to me, 1 see much 
easier what works, what can we improve, 
and what can we do. 

“1 have to not only make an adaptation 
of the work from literature to image, but 
before that, 1 have to adopt a thing, and 
when 1 adopt it, it really becomes mine, 
and 1 really cherish it and 1 invest myself 
into it, like if 1 wrote it myself.” As for 
making a film in English, Satrapi tells us 
that the challenges were not too serious. 
“You don’t think that my English is so 
bad, do you?” she laughs. “English is 
not a language that 1 speak naturally 
because English is a language that 1 have 
learned by watching movies. 1 have never 
properly studied any English in my life. 

At the beginning 1 was like, ‘Me hungry. 

Me thirsty’, and little by little it gets more 
sophisticated because you practice it. It’s a 
little bit challenging because it is my third 
language, but at the same time 1 think 
1 speak it well enough to make myself 
understood, and also to judge the quality of 
the work of the others, know what they are 
doing, and understand what they say.” 

Collaboration was crucial on The Voices. 
With such a strange tonal mix, it was vital 
that everybody be on the same page, from 
the stars to the set designers. Despite her 
background in various artistic forms, 

Satrapi tells us that she was always open to 
suggestions. “1 don’t say to people, ‘1 am a 
painter and you’re going to have to do what 
1 want.’ It’s really like, ‘Oh, 1 like this and 1 
like that.’” Although she tells us that 
Reynolds was not the first actor who came 
to mind when she was reading the script. 



she tells us that she was struck by how they 
shared a vision for the film and amiable 
lunatic Jerry. 

“You can have the best director in this 
world joined with the best actor in this 
world - if each of them wants to make a 
different movie, the result cannot be 
good,” she explains to us. “It’s very 
important that the director and the main 
actor have the same vision. Not only did 
he have exactly the same vision; we really 
approached it from the same way. Then 
looking at him, he had these dark, very 
profound creepy eyes that look really scary, 
and at the same time he has this juvenile 
smile that makes you want to give him 
anything. You’re like, ‘Come on Jerry, you 
can cut my throat with a knife, it’s not a 
problem, come kill me! Go ahead man, 1 
love you anyway!”’ 

M uch AS REYNOLDS DOESN’T MAKE 
FOR YOUR TYPICAL SERIAL KILLER, 

THE WOMEN OF THE VOICES DON'T 
SEEM LIKE YOUR TYPICAL VICTIMS. 

Alongside Byzantiurds Gemma Arterton 
as Jerry’s crush Fiona, the film stars two 
Oscar nominees: Pitch Perfects Anna 
Kendrick as a fellow co-worker with a crush 
on Jerry, and Animal Kingdom’s Jacki 
Weaver as his therapist. “1 wanted to have 
different kind of women, because in this 
kind of film you always have this big blonde 
girl who is about 40 pounds. She’s the 
victim and you can just take her little finger 



and break her in two,” explains Satrapi. “1 
wanted to have different women, and not 
the same blonde girl who is going to be 
cut into pieces.” 

That determination to subvert serial- 
killer tropes extends to the look of the film. 
The Voices is a joyfully colourful movie, 
full of idiosyncratic details, from the pink 
factory overalls to the heart-shaped piece 
of pepperoni on a pizza slice Jerry devours. 
“My background comes from painting,” 
Satrapi explains. “1 have a very, very strict 
relationship with colour and frames. If 1 
don’t have exactly the pink that 1 want 1 
can really become mad. 1 have some very 
obsessive stuff with how the image looks. 1 
watch a movie and I’m like, ‘Oh, the movie 
was so good, but it was so ugly’ 

“1 hate it when movies are ugly, and 1 have 
a sense of taste that is mine. So when they 
said, ‘Describe the fantastic world of Jerry,’ 1 
describe what seems the nicest to me. 1 say 
to myself, ‘The overalls are pink.’ So you can 
say, ‘Okay, this is odd,’ but at the same time 
it’s a bathtub factory, so obviously you’re 
talking about shampoo and bath gel and 
bubbles and flowers and pink! And pink 
overalls don’t have a connotation because 
nobody used it before, and 1 love pink, 
because I’m a girl! And then little by little 
you create this visual style.” 

The film has touches of David Lynch 
about it, as well as nods towards serial-killer 
classics like Psycho and The Silence 
Of The Lambs, but Satrapi tells us that 






Ryan Reynolds stars as 
loveable serial killer Jerry 
in The Voices. 




she was careful to avoid direct references ^ 
wherever possible. “1 watched all the movies | 
that 1 thought could have a parallel with ^ 
this to try to not copy the visual style,” she | 
remembers. “Because that’s not fun. They | 
always make homages, but homage is a nice | 
way to say you have copied the work of the | 
other one. 1 don’t want to, but at the same | 
time, you know, really after Orson Welles | 

and Stanley Kubrick, what do you want to | 
invent in cinema?” | 

It’s easy to look at the stylistic flourishes | 
present in The Voices and draw a line ^ 

back to Satrapi’s background as a visual | 

artist. However, she tells us that she’s not | 
interested in falling prey to categorisation. \ 

‘Well, you make Persepolis and people tell | 
you, Tou are an animator’, and I’m like. I’m | 
no [Hayao] Miyazaki’, 1 only made one film | 
in animation, because for me animation is | 
not a genre; it’s just a way of making films. 1 | 

could not do [Persepolis] another way.” | 
Speaking to Satrapi, it’s clear that it’s | 
the medium of film in general that she | 

loves, rather than a specific type of cinema. | 
“Americans like to say, ‘Oh, cinema is a '% 
question of storytelling,”’ she tells us. “But | 
1 don’t think it’s so much a question of | 
storytelling; it’s a question of language. | 
If you have the same film made by five | 

different people, you have five different | 
movies. So my research is more to find my | 
own language. At the same time 1 am a very | 
good spectator. Even though this is my work | 
now, 1 really get into a film and 1 get scared, % 



1 shout, and 1 cry, 1 am like as if it is 1920 
again and 1 have never seen a movie before! 
When 1 see a good movie 1 just want to make 
movies, and when 1 see a bad one 1 just want 
to stop, and 1 feel like dying.” 

Indeed, following the drastic change 
of The Voices, Satrapi is keen to keep 
pushing herself and trying new things. 

She’s working on two potential new projects 
at the moment, but won’t teU us what they 
are. “1 am extremely superstitious, in a sick 
way, so I’m scared that if 1 say it to you it 
won’t happen!” 

However, whatever she does next, it 
will be something new. She is determined 
to keep pushing herself and exploring 
new genres. “It’s not so much that 1 want 
to surprise people; I’m easily bored by 
everything,” she tells us. “1 do something, 
and then 1 want to do something else, 
because 1 don’t have so much time left to 
me. I’m not going to live another 4,000 years. 
So you know, 1 have a couple of years, 1 can 
make like a dozen films maximum, so if 1 
could try all different styles of film before 
1 die, 1 don’t want to have any regrets. 1 
don’t want to say, ‘Shit, 1 wanted to make a 
musical; why didn’t 1 do it?’ That’s probably 
the hardest of all of them, because my god, 
everything has to be synchronised and 
everything has to be perfect. So 1 would love 
to do one!” ■■ ■ 



The Voices will be released in cinemas on 
20 March. 









Home 




HOME 

Home Is Where The Heart Is 




WE SPOKE TO HOME STAR JIM PARSONS AND PRODUCER SUZANNE BUIRGY 
ABOUT HIS ROLE AS A CUDDLY EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL AND WHAT IT WAS LIKE 
SNARING A MICROPHONE WITH A POP STAR... 

WORDS KRYSTAL SIM 



M n D NILE HIS CHARACTER ON 
M I THE BIG BANG THEORY HAS 

BEEN JOKINGLY COMPAREO 
'j M TO AN ALIEN, ACTOR JIM 

^ Parsons doesn’t think 

^ Sheldon would take too 

^ well to his latest, optimistic 

character - a charming little 
^ alien called Oh. 

“Sheldon would be very 
frightened of this character. I 
think that he would not take 
any comfort at all in knowing 
that there were tiny purple 
creatures who speak in broken 
English out in the universe.” 
Home, DreamWorks’ latest 
film, tells the story of lovable 
misfit Oh. He belongs to an alien 
race called the Boov - led by the 
swaggering yet cowardly Captain 
Smek (Steve Martin), on the run from 
their fearsome foes, the Gorg. 

“They change homes because 
they keep being discovered,” explains 
Parsons. “They finally discover Earth, 
and think it will be a wonderful place to 
hide, so they start an invasion.” 

Believing humans to be no better 
than pests, these benevolent invaders 



* blithely relocate the population and 

* take over the planet. But when an 

S over-enthusiastic Oh hits ‘send all’ on 

■ the e-vite to his housewarming party, 

I he i nadvertent ly gives away the Boov’s 
; location to their mortal enemy. 

\ Faced with being ‘erased’ by his own 
! kind. Oh runs away and meets a young 

■ human girl who escaped capture - 

m Rihanna as Gratuity ‘Tip’ Tucci, a young 
I woman on a mission to find her mother. 
I Oh agrees to help Tip track her down, 
I and transforms her car into a turbo- 
; charged flying contraption using a 
J convenience-store slushy machine. 

" “She is mad at his species because 
“ they’ve stolen her mother from her,” 

I says Parsons. “They end up in a flying 
I car travelling around Earth together. Tip 
I discovers that he is not ‘bad’ like she 
t thought he was, and Oh discovers that 
; she is not the crass simpleton he was 
" taught she was supposed to be.” 
r The film is adapted from the 

■ children’s book The True Meaning 

» OfSmekday by writer and illustrator 
I Adam Rex. While the design and 
I characters are true to the spirit of the 
t source material, the film has veered in 
; a different direction. The improbable 



friendship between Oh and Tip follows 
a great tradition of alien-child bonding, 
from ETio Lilo & Stitch. 

“What Oh is that makes him different 
from the others is curious,” producer 
Suzanne Buirgy says, “and that leads 
him to want to engage with others. It’s 
just not what that species does - they 
don’t find value in it. Oh tries so hard 
that he goofs up and makes mistakes, 
and that’s not very appealing to the 
other Boov, who don’t want to stick out. 

“We wanted Oh to be adorable and a 
bit clueless. There’s something innocent 
about Jim. I saw him do Harvey on 
Broadway; he can make a character like 
that so loveable, and he has that unique 
speaking voice. We began to put him 
together with Oh - there was no one 
else we could imagine doing it.” 

Both characters have preconceived 
notions about the other, and the Texan 
actor was drawn to how the story 
challenges those prejudices. 

“I really wanted to do an animated 
film,” he says, “and the more I heard 
about this story, the more I liked it 
and wanted to be a part of it. I was 
charmed by this whole idea of naturally 
discovering what other people are and 



SdRNOM I 065 








BIG MOVIE 

Home 



seeing what unlikely friendships can 
happen in the process. The director, 

Tim Johnson (Antz), had such clarity of 
vision... Without that guidance I would 
have been too scared to take two steps.” 
Playing a cartoonish quasi-conqueror 
is a world away from the live-action 
comedy that Parsons is most famous 
for in The Big Bang Theory. He says 
recording lines with only his imagination 
for inspiration was liberating. 

“It was so different. There’s 
something freeing about it, because 
you’re not working with anybody else 
except for the director. There are no 
actors, there’s no set. You can’t even use 
your body to tell the story. It was one of 
the most creative experiences I’ve ever 
had. If you didn’t see it in your head, you 
didn’t see it at all.” 

If the purple tentacles weren’t alien 
enough, the Boov also have a rather 
strange way of speaking. Parsons felt 
the challenge lay in making things 
clear for the audience. “Oh has a kind 
of broken English way of speaking. It’s 
English by way of Alien, and because of 
that I would be self-correcting phrases 
as I tried to do it. And they’d be like. 
There’s a wrong way that’s actually the 
right way for Oh to say it.’ 



I REALLY WANTED TO DO AN ANIMATED FILM. THE 
MORE I HEARD ADOUT THIS STORY THE MORE I 
LIKED IT AND WANTED TO RE A I^ART OF IT 

JIM PARSONS 



“He’s a very optimistic and eager 
character, and that kind of dictates 
a certain energy and tone that went 
through the whole thing. But more than 
anything, I felt dictated by the idea of 
trying to keep things clear. These are 
new characters, in a new story. I think 
it’s very important if you’re going to fall 
in love with them, which I think people 
will, to understand very clearly what’s 
going on and what’s being set up.” 

nAMPIMG UP THE RIDICULOUSNESS IS 
M COMEDIAN STEVE MARTIN, WHO PLAYS 
n THE BODY’S LEADER, CAPTAIN SMEK. 

I I HIS TALENTS INCLUDE RUNNING AWAY, 

taking credit for everything and bopping 
minions on the head with his staff. The 
Shusher.’The iconic actor made quite 
the impression on his colleagues. 

“I got to spend a couple of voice 
sessions with him,” says Parsons, “and 
not only is he very kind and intelligent; 
he has this ability to colourfully fly off 
of any topic and keep going, which 



“I spent a couple of sessions with 
her,” recalls Parsons, “and I’m like, ‘Oh 
my god. I’m on her home turf.’ There 
was something so natural about seeing 
her in front of a mic that made me feel 
so homeless. But she is so incredibly 
warm and self-deprecating that it’s 
been a joy to spend time with her.” 
Rihanna’s lead role as Tip is also a 
step forward in the representation of 
women of colour in animation. Buirgy 
tells us they wanted to make her 
character special. 

“We wanted to make [Tip] unique 
and to be a model for a lot of kids; kids 
who come from mixed backgrounds 
and are melting-pot kids. She is brave, 
feisty, and she is not going to let 
anybody get in her way. She starts off 
closed and she opens up.” 

Home is about searching for a place 
to belong. Buirgy hopes that those who 
see it will embrace its message that no 
matter how much of an outsider you 
may feel, you’ll find a friend. 



was heaven for 
the writers and 
animators. 

“It’s very different 
from what I do. I love 
working with scripts - 1 
take great pride in 
that. But I don’t have 
that same sort of free 
spi rit that he does. There’s v 
a fearlessness, years of ^ 

practice of it have made him 
even better. He dives into the most 
unknown territory with such brazen 
abandon, and it’s amazing to watch.” 

“If you’re in the presence of Steve 
Martin, you’re in awe,” adds Buirgy. 

“He’s so unassuming. And then he 
pulls this stuff up out of this place 
that is this Steve Martin place, and it’s 
unbelievable. Tons of what he did was 
improvised. He went off on a whole 
story about how he ran from the Gorg, 
and it went on for ten minutes. We could 
hardly move for laughing so hard.” 
DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg 
thought Rihanna would be perfect while 
listening to her music. Buirgy, herself 
a songwriter and performer, felt that 
the singer’s authenticity and infectious 
laugh helped bring Tip to life. 






“I hope they’ll take away that it’s 
okay to be different, and that we all feel 
odd and out of place,” she says. “And if 
we look to each other and really think 
about how someone else might be 
feeling, that we can be compassionate 
and understanding to each other.” 

“They’re both searching for things 
that they no longer have,” agrees 
Parsons. “They find this common 
ground and discover someone else who 
sees the world similarly, and it allows 
them to be themselves. 

“I think anybody can relate to 
that feeling, wanting to find a group 
to belong to. That eagerness and 
enthusiasm for life that Oh has, I try 
to feel that more often. It’s rather 
contagious in a way, his embracing of 
everything that comes his way was very 
sweet. It’s a lovely way to live.” 



Home will be released in cinemas on 
20 March. 



The two leads are voiced by 
Jim Parsons and Rihanna, both 
in animation for the first time. 



066 ISdFttlow 



www.scifinow.co.uk 





i^un/tvo 






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70 CINEMA 

Theatrical 
releases 
70 Jupiter Ascending 

71 Project Almanac 

71 The Signal 

72 The Tale Of The 
Princess Kaguya 

72 The Falling 
73 Home 

74 HOME/FILM 

Films on DVD, 
Blu-ray and more 
74 Interstellar 
74 The Hunger 
Games: Mockingjay- 
Part One 

74 Justice League: 
Throne Of Atlantis 

75 Rabid 

75 The Comedy Of 

Terrors 
75 Ouija 
7G Hardware 
76 Wolves 
76 Continuum 
77 Doc Of The Dead 
77 The Toxic Avenger 
Part III: The Last 
Temptation Of Toxie/ 
Citizen Toxie: The 
Toxic Avenger IV 

78 HOME/TV/ 
AUDIO 

TV shows on DVD, 
Blu-ray and more 

78 The Avengers: 

Series Four 

79 Halo: Nightfall 



SdFNOW 069 









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ULTIMATELY FORGET ABOUT’ 



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TO REVIEWS THAT SCORE FOUR STARS OR MORE. 



ScFINom^^ 



nn the pick 



★★★★★ Outstanding ★★★★Thoroughly entertaining ★★★ Good but somewhat lacking 



a as you should The Rendlesham UFO Incident 









■ 



■ 



1 



FILM INFO 

Released 

Out now 

Certificate 

12A 

Directors 

Andy and Lana Wachowski 

Screenwriters 

Andy and Lana Wachowski 

Cast 

Mila Kunis,Channing 
Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie 
Redmayne, Tuppence 
Middleton, Douglas Booth 

Distributor 

Warner Bros 

Running Time 

127 mins 




NOT ONLY 
HUMAN 

The best of the part- 
human, part-alien race 



Laura 

Under The Skin (2013) 



& 



Scarlett Johansson’s 
mysterious alien could 
easily pass as human, if it 
wasn’tforallthe ‘dissolving 
men into the floor’ stuff. 



^ , Wi 

a 



Wikus Van De Merwe 

District 9 (2009) 

Wikus is what happens 
when people get exposed 
to alien chemicals, and 
human DNAfuseswith 
prawn’ DMA. 






Peter Quill 

Guardians Of The Gaiaxy 
( 2014 ) 

He thought he was just an 
Eighties Earth kid, but Star- 
Lord’s secret ancient alien 
ancestry helped him save 
the galaxy. 






Mr Spock 

star Trek (2009) 

He acts like any logical 
Vulcan would, but Spock 
inherited his mother’s 
humanity, even if he won’t 
admit it. 




JUPITER ASCENDING 



Unyielding but unremarkable 



The synopsis for Jupiter Ascendingreads 
like a textbook, good old-fashioned space 
opera: Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is a down- 
on-her-luck caretaker who hates her life and 
wants to escape. After discovering she is space 
royalty and just a few bureaucratic procedures 
away from inheriting Earth, she sets off on 
a high-octane quest through the galaxy, 
accompanied by genetically mutated wolf man 
Caine Wise (Charming Tatum), to claim what is 
rightfully hers. 

But before Jupiter can become the literal 
Miss World, she and Caine must deal with 
Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Kalique (Tuppence 
Middleton) and Titus (Douglas Booth), a trio 
of immortal siblings of the House of Abrasax, 
who each believe they are also in the running 
as Earth’s heir. 

As the Wachowskis’ first non-adapted film 
since The Matrix Revolutions in 2003, we were 
expecting big things from it. Unfortunately, it’s 
not the timeless space epic it could have been. 
Before nitpicking, you must understand that it’s 
pure sci-fi and pure fun. Two hours of non-stop 
universe traversing, kick-ass visual effects and 
insanely awesome gadgets (Caine’s anti-gravity 
boots trump Marty McFly’s self-lacing trainers 
in Things we so badly want to be real’) makes 
for a good time, no matter what kind of prior 
experience you have with space operas. 

It’s worth watching if you’re into that sort of 
thing, but maybe just the one time. It’s not the 
type of film that warrants detailed analysis, 
expanded universes or even a sequel. The story 
is fun, but pretty basic. It’s got a beginning. 



middle and end, with limited surprises and 
standout moments. And if we are all being 
totally honest here, it takes a bit of time 
to wrap the story up. Sure, it’s exactly the 
same length as The Empire Strikes Back 
and shorter than Return OfTheJedi, but 
127 minutes of non-stop space capers gets 
tiring pretty quickly. The ending could 
have taken place much sooner without 
detracting from the story. 

Aside from the stunning visual effects 
- in places, they really are something 
special - the characters are easily Jupiter 
Ascendings strongest point. Kunis makes 
a brilliant lead, which is not necessarily 
surprising. Though some of her dialogue 
is a little clunky at times, she’s funny and 
charming, and reacts the way you’d expect 
you would act if you found yourself in 
her situation. 

Basically, she’s believable, which doesn’t 
often happen with female-led science 
fiction. She’s not massively bad-ass - the 
only training she’s had was janitorial. 




which likely didn’t teach how to execute 
a high kick or strangle your assailant to 
death using nothing but your thighs. But 
she gives it her best go, whacking her 
movie showdown sparring partner over the 
head with a pole. 

There aren’t any jaw-dropping 
performances, but that’s fine and 
unsurprising (again, space opera); it’s just 
good, spacey fun. The Abrasax siblings 
are all suitably creepy and mysterious. 
Middleton’s elegant but conniving Kalique 
and Booth’s smooth playboy Titus are 
intriguing, with their intentions hidden 
behind masks. Redmayne is also a scene 
stealer, mainly because he maintains a 
gravely, breathless voice throughout and 
permanently looks as if he’s trying not to 
cry. It’s difficult to decide whether it makes 
his performance cool and alien or just a bit 
weird, but it’s easy to forget about it. 

The amusing dialogue, interesting, 
three-dimensional characters and just how 
darn spacey and fun it all is makes Jupiter 
Ascending one to watch and enjoy, but 
ultimately forget about once you’ve seen 
something better. 

Poppy-Jay Palmer 
VERDICT ★★★ 



OR STAY IN AND WATCH 



Cloud Atlas 

The Wachowskis’ journey 
throug;h time rather than 
space IS overly complicated, 
but still pretty fun. 




IHANNING TATUM WORE A MOUTHPIECE GORING FILMING TO CHANGE THE SHAPE DF HIS LDWER JAW, WHICH MADE IT DIFFICULT FDR HIM TO TALK DR CLOSE HIS MOUTH. 



070 SdRMmv 



www.scifinow.co.uk 








REVIEWS CINEMA 

Jupiter Ascending/^ Project Almanac //The Signal 




PROJECT ALMANAC 

Your kids are gonna love it. . . 

Details 12A //106 mins //Outnow Director Dean Israelite Screenwriters Andrew 
Deutschman, Jason Harry Pagan Cast Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D'Elia, Sam 
Lerner, Allen Evangelista Distributor Paramount 




Dean Israelite’s 
first feature film is 
an entertaining and 
confident found- 
footage, time-travel 
movie that recalls 
the chats and dilemmas of Shane 
Carruth’s low-budget film Primer, 
which made waves in the indie 
scene over ten years ago. However, 
complicated scientific matters are 
soon dropped to focus on the teen 
experience, which renders it a far 
less intelligent effort than Carruth’s 
aforementioned gem. 

When MIT applicant David Raskin 
(Jonny Weston) finds out he’s been 
accepted to his dream college, his 
jubilation disappears as soon as he 
realises that his request for a grant 
has been denied. With his dreams 
of scientific study slipping from his 
grasp, he investigates the attic space 
where his late father’s inventions are 
kept to find a solution to his problem. 
Instead, he finds a video camera that 
holds evidence to not only prove time 
travel is possible, but that he may 
have the means to make it a reality. 




David recruits his film-obsessed 
little sister to document his 
experiment and two closest 
friends to join him on a quest to 
the unknown. Classmate Jessie 
(Sofia Black-D’Elia) turns up as a 
love interest for David after she 
accidentally stumbles into their lab. 

The screenwriters display a 
fondness for the time-travel genre, 
and have lots of fun with it, but don’t 
really deliver anything outstanding. 
There are direct nods to Looperand 
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and 
the title even alludes to the Back To 
The Ft/fL/re franchise, but with that 
also comes an air of predictability as 
the cause and effect storyline kicks 
in towards the latter half. However, 
the responsibility of time-travel 
crashing down around David does 
play nicely into his narrative. 

It is a shame, then, that at points 
the noticeable product placement 
and ‘your mum’ jokes threaten to 
sour the film. In addition to that, 
despite David’s sister being a whizz 
with a video camera, she is often 
landed with lines which suggest she 
is dumb and clueless. 

Katherine McLaughlin 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 

IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY “ 

Primer 

Extremely smart time- 
travel film that may perplex 
but also proves fascinating 
to watch unfold. 







THE SIGNAL 



Close encounters 



Details 15// 97 mins// 27 March Director William Eubank Screenwriters Carlyle 
Eubank, William Eubank, David Erigerio Cast Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, 

Beau Knapp, Laurenoe Fishburne Distributor Entertainment One 



We’ve had what 

feels like a long run of 
terrible alien abduction 
horror movies recently, 
so William Eubank’s 
thoughtful and tender 
portrayal of an extraterrestrial 
encounter feels like something of a 
reprieve. Admittedly, we have had to 
wait some time to see it (it has had very 
good word of mouth from its festival 
run), but it’s a relief to say that it’s worth 
the wait. 

Nic (Brenton Thwaites) is driving 
across country with his girlfriend 
Haley (Olivia Cooke) and best friend 
Jonah (Beau Knapp) when they come 
across what could be the home address 
of a hacker who has been tormenting 
them. They decide to take a detour and 
surprise the guy, but the house in the 
middle of nowhere has a surprise for 
them. When Nic wakes up, he’s in an 
underground facility where Damon 
(Laurence Fishburne), a scientist in 
a Hazmat suit, tells him he may have 
encountered extraterrestrial life. 

The Signal is a nifty sci-fi thriller 
that makes the most of its limited 




location, turning a likeable road 
movie about a young guy struggling 
with the early stages of MS and an 
impending break-up into a tense puzzle. 
The plot kicks into gear once Nic 
wakes up underground, but Eubank 
ensures our involvement in his story 
with great casting and beautiful 
cinematography that reinforces the 
harsh nature of this new environment 
he’s trapped in. 

It’s tough to talk too much about the 
story without ruining its twists (which 
are fairly predictable, but where’s the 
fun in that?). However, we can say that 
the three leads are very strong (Knapp 
is particularly good, skirting the usual 
pitfalls of the ‘quirky best friend’ role) 
and Fishburne is perfectly cast; his 
calm but authoritarian tone establishing 
that Nic may well be in more trouble 
than he realises. Of the cast, only the 
ever-watchable Cooke is wasted, which 
is a shame. 

However, as Eubank builds towards 
the finale, you’ll find that you’re fully 
invested in Nic’s story. There’s some 
beautiful cinematography and some 
excellent effects work, and this is a 
striking, affecting piece of work that 
lives up to its great buzz. 

Jonathan Hatfull 
VERDICT ★★★★ 



IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



Chronicle 

Four friends find that 
alien powers come with 
a price in Josh Trank’s 
excellent debut. 





T ITWa T one point in their travels, the teenagers of project mmowm to the 2013 LOLLAPALOOZA MOSIC festival to see a whole host of BANOS, INCLOOING IMAGINE ORAGONS. 



SUBSCRIBE WWW.IMAGINESHOP.CO.uk 



SdFtJow 071 






review 




THE TALE OF THE 
PRINCESS KAGUYA mss 



Details PG// 137 mins// 20 March Director Isao Takahata Screenwriters IsaoTakahta, 
RikoSakaguchi CastAki Asakura,Tatsuya Nakadai, Nobuko Miyamoto 

Distributor StudioCanal 






The retirement of 

Hayao Miyazaki may 
have seen the departure 
of one of cinema’s most 

H rwmMi gifted filmmakers, but 

' ^ Studio Ghibli has never 

been a one-person outfit, and The Tale 
Of The Princess Kaguya is a beautiful, 
heart-warming reminder of what the 
masters of animation are capable of. 

Sanuki no Miyatsuko (Tatsuya 
Nakadai) is a bamboo cutter who comes 
across something in the woods. One 
of the trees he cuts down holds a tiny 
princess, who transforms into a baby 
girl when he takes her home to his wife 
Ona (Nobuko Miyamoto). Naming her 
‘Princess’, they raise her as their own, 
believing her to be a gift from Heaven. 

When the bamboo cutter finds large 
quantities of gold in the trees, he takes 
this as a sign that they need to give 
Princess a better life, and decides that 
they should leave the woods and their 
friends to live as nobility in the city. But 
what does Princess want, and how will 
this drastic change affect her? 




The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya is 
directed by Ghibli founding member 
Isao Takahata, maker of the stunning 
Grave Of The Fireflies, as well as Pom 
Poko and My Neighbours The Yamadas. 
It’s hard to imagine this elegant 
animation coming from anyone else. It’s 
based on the classic Japanese fairy tale 
The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter, and 
perfectly combines form and story. 

Princess, who goes on to be named 
Kaguya, takes her place in the grand 
tradition of Ghibli heroines. She’s 
excitable and good-natured, stubborn 
and good-hearted, and her longing 
to return to the simpler life she knew 
before is heartbreaking. The stately pace 
and charming sense of humour that 
is the Ghibli trademark is present and 
correct, and the voice cast is absolutely 
wonderful. Nakadai and Miyamoto are 
particularly good as the bull-headed but 
well-meaning woodcutter and his quiet 
but perceptive wife respectively. 

The film is a little lengthy at 137 
minutes, but it’s wonderfully made, 
filled with charming detail, and has a 
truly affecting emotional journey at 
its centre. 

Jonathan Hatfull 
VERDICT ★★★★ 



OR STAY IN AND WATCH. 



Kiki’s Delivery Service 

Miyazaki’s charming 1989 
animation teiis the story of a 
young witch trying to make 
rier way in the wond. 





THE FALLING 



God help the girl 



Details 15 //102 mins //24 April Director Garol Morley Screenwriter Garol Morley 
Cast Maisie Williams, Florence Pugh, Maxine Peake, Monica Dolan, Greta Scacchi 

Distributor Metrodome 



It’s difficult to know how to 
classify The Falling. Carol Morley’s 
film has its feet planted in period 
drama, but its head is off and away 
somewhere more fantastical. 
Whether or not something 
supernatural is at work is a question 
the script poses fairly early on, but 
Morley is far more concerned with 
the atmosphere that uncertainty 
creates rather than clarifying it. 

It’s 1969, and 16-year olds Lydia 
(Maisie Williams) and Abbie (Florence 
Pugh) are best friends at a girls’ 
school, and Lydia is struggling 
to understand why her friend is 
suddenly so interested in sex. After 
a tragic event, Lydia begins fainting. 
Before long, the girls in their friends 
circle start to suffer from the same 
condition. Is it psychogenic, or 
something more elemental? 

Morley’s tale is steeped in British 
folk horror tradition. The camera 
frequently gazes up at a giant oak 
tree, Lydia’s brother Kenneth (Peaky 
Blinders’ Joe Cole) explains how the 
school is situated on ancient ley lines, 
and the soundtrack (by Everything 
But the Girl’s Tracey Thorn) is eerily 
hypnotic. The primal potency of 
adolescence is tied to the earth, 
recalling The Wicker Man and Alan 
Garner (and Carrie at one point), and 
it’s utterly compelling. 



All of this is rooted in darkly 
comic kitchen sink-realism, as Lydia 
lashes out at her determinedly 
distant mother (Maxine Peake) and 
struggles to adjust to the changes 
that Abbie is going through. As her 
behaviour gets worse at home and 
school, Morley manages to show 
both sides of the situation, walking 
a fine line with great skill. Williams 
has impressed with her strong work 
on Game Of Thrones, and she’s 
tremendous here, launching herself 
into the dark material while making 
sure we don’t lose sight of the fragility 
and anger as Lydia becomes an 
increasingly powerful force within 
the school. 

The rest of cast is superb 
too; Monica Dolan is particularly 
good as the cool headmistress 
who is determined to remain 
unfazed. It stumbles in the final 
act due to the need for an ending, 
but The Fallingls beautifully shot, 
wonderfully atmospheric and 
very powerful. 

Jonathan Hatfull 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 



OR STAY IN AND WATCH..^ 

* The Woods 

' Qk. . Heather realises that 

1 ^ u something is very wrong 

_ 9 ‘ with her boarding school ii 

^ 4 f-hic r'hillor 



072 SdFiNnv 



www.scifinow.co.uk 






review 



FILM INFO 

Released 

20 March 

Certificate 

U 

Director 

Tim Johnson 

Screenwriters 

Tom J Astle, Matt Ember 

Cast 

Rihanna Jim Parsons, 
Steve Martin, 

Jennifer Lopez 

Distributor 

20th Century Fox 

Running Time 

93 mins 




OUT OF 
THIS WORLD 

Our top three 
adorable aliens 
ET 

This little guy holds a 
special place In our 
hearts. Stranded on 
Earth, ET forms a close 
connection with lonely boy 
Elliott (Henry Thomas). Pretty 
much the prototype for all ‘boy 
and his alien’ movies since. 





Stitch 

All the best pets are 
genetically engineered 
killing machines. Lllo and 
Stitch have known loss, 
and It brings them together In 
the most touching way. Plus, 
Stitch manages to be both 
grumpy and adorable. 

The Iron Giant 

Do alien robots count? 
Long before he was 
Groot, VIn Diesel voiced 
the gentle Iron Giant. 

The movie teaches us that 
you are who you choose to be, 
and the moment when the 
Giant chooses to be Superman 
Is a tear-jerker. 






Nothing to write home about 



Home presents a new twist on the alien- 
invasion story, starring The Big Bang Theory’s 
Jim Parsons and singer Rihanna - both making 
their animated feature debuts. 

When a well-meaning race of creatures 
called the Boov discover Earth, they think their 
troubles are over. The pint-sized invaders take 
over the planet, relocate its seemingly primitive 
population, and revel in their new home. 

Their latest home, that is. The Boov have 
been pursued across the galaxy by their enemy, 
the Gorg. This menacing foe has a grudge 
against the tiny tentacled trespassers, as well as 
a habit of blowing up their latest safe haven. 

Parsons plays the upbeat Oh. Named for the 
less-than-enthusiastic sound his fellow Boov 
make whenever he’s around. Oh is cheerfully 
lonely. Desperate to make friends in a society 
that doesn’t value such connections, he tries his 
best, but no one wants to be his friend. 

Meanwhile, scrappy teenager Gratuity Tip’ 
Tucci (Rihanna) manages to avoid capture, 
surviving by her wits and with a fierce 




determination to find her mother Lucy 
(Jennifer Lopez). 

Because of his latest snafu. Oh 
inadvertently reveals his people’s location 
to the Gorg, and becomes Boovian Enemy 
Number One. While on the run he crosses 
paths with the little girl, upgrades her car 
to a flying machine powered by slushies, 
and agrees to help find her mother. As they 
travel the world together. Oh learns from 
his human companion what it is to belong 
to a family, and the guarded Tip discovers 
that the Boov aren’t all that bad. 

Adapted from Adam Rex’s story The 
True Meaning OfSmekday, Home dials 
down the book’s social commentary while 
upping the True meaning of friendship’ 
schtick. It’s a sweet enough story that 
plunders the child-meets-adorable-alien 
playbook, but lacks the personality that 
made the likes of Despicable Me and 
ParaNorman entertaining and heartfelt. 
You can’t help but think that Gru’s minions 
had an awful lot to do with the Boov. 

That’s not to say that the world director 
Tim Johnson has created is without charm. 
The Boov are designed to be otherworldly 
yet endearing, with their stubby tentacle- 
feet and goofy grins. They change colour 
with their emotions, and that constant 
shifting adds a novel energy to them. 

As for the cast, it’s remarkable that 
no one thought to use Jim Parson’s 
considerable vocal talents before now. 

As many Sheldon Gooper fans would 



have already guessed, he makes a rather 
convincing alien. 

The actor affects a more eager version 
of his own voice, as well as Oh’s strange 
Boovian syntax. “1 has found our car,” 
exclaims the purple critter. Lines like “Gan 
1 come into the out now?” are lifted from 
the source material, but when divorced 
from the novel’s darker subtext, they do 
feel a little childish 

Steve Martin’s turn as the beautifully 
smug Gaptain Smek is a scene-stealer 
for obvious reasons, while Rihanna’s 
raspy voice stretches the limits of her 
believability as a teen, but she brings 
warmth and humour to her character. 

The bond between the Tip and Oh is 
the heart of the film, even if it seems to 
measure their friendship in selfies. Home 
doesn’t sparkle enough to make the 
transition from kids film to modern classic. 

To be fair, not every animated film can 
evoke Toy Story 3 furnace scene levels of 
poignancy - there’s only so much the heart 
can take. That said. Home is possibly the 
most cheerful alien-invasion-of-Earth film 
you’re likely to see. 

Krystal Sim 
VERDICT ★★★ 



W- J (JTJ Lilo & Stitch 

A young g;irl adopts a puppy, 
iv„ , not realising that he’s actually 

a mischievous geneticaiiy 
Be— engineered aiien. 




SUBSGRiBE WWW.IMAGINESHOP.CO.uk 



pH WAS ORIGINALLY CALLED ‘JLD’ IN THE NOVEL. COINCIDENTALLY JENNIFER LOPEZ IS PART OF THE VOICE CAST DF THE FILM - SHE PLAYS TIP'S MOTHER LOGY. 



SdFtJOW 073 










review 




INTERSTELLAR 



Lost in space 



Details 12 //168 mins //2104 // Released 30 March Director Christopher 

Nolan Cast Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, 
Casey Affleck, Bill Irwin, John Lithgow DistributorWarner Home Video 



Christopher Nolan 

is a bona-fide auteur. 

He has made cinema his 
way for over 15 years. 

Big, ambitious and 
beautiful, Interstellaris, at times, a piece 
of visionary filmmaking. Presenting 
a stark, dark future for humanity, the 
film’s first act depicts a planet on its 
last legs. In a world so crippled 
by famine that even the US Army 
has ceased to exist, Matthew 
McConaughey’s Cooper is an engineer 
in a time that needs farmers, a man 
feeling so abject in his own world that 
he’s willing to leave his own family to 
maybe find another. The first act of 
Nolan’s vision is crisp, unforgiving and 
emotionally heart-rending. 

But as the mission takes off, things 
start going awry immediately. Anne 
Hathaway’s Brand is a strange amalgam 
of motives, the mission start is rushed, 
and as more layers are added, the more 
it’s clear that Interstellaris a broken, 
incomplete creation. 

Nolan is a master of the cinematic 
reveal, a modern filmmaking 




magician. And Interstellar ceriamiy 
tries to pull the same trick as many 
of Nolan’s masterpieces, presenting 
a picture, only to pull another more 
astounding one from behind it. All the 
elements are there for it: a journey of 
incredible discovery; a stunning visual 
presentation of wormholes, black holes 
and worlds beyond imagination; some 
thrilling action set-pieces; a fresh take 
on A1 assistants; and a predictably 
excellent score from Hans Zimmer. 

However, the core of the story is 
cripplingly unclear, suffocating inside 
a crumpled wrapper of half-executed 
ideas, unresolved strands of narrative 
and competing themes. Is it about 
humanity? Love? Family? Discovery? 
Forgiveness? Deceit? Not even the 
Nolans seem to know. With a clearer 
core, we could forgive the often- 
atrocious dialogue or the ludicrous 
climactic sequence, let the diabetes- 
inducing epilogue slide, and look past 
the fact that Cooper speaks exclusively 
in proverbs. 

Interstellaris an attempt at a grand 
opus for a new age, presented with a 
flawless visual spectacle; a thing of 
beauty. But it’s a hollow beauty. 

Erlingur Einarsson 
VERDICT ★★★ 



IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



Contact 

Mankind finds it’s not 
aione in Robert Zemeckis’s 
masterpiece, starring 
McConaughey and Jodie Foster. 





THE HUNGER GAMES: ^ 
MOCKINGJAY-PARTlo^^-- 

Details 12 /T23 mins //2014A^ • aS: Released March 16 
Director Francis Lawrence Cast Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, 

Josh Hutcherson Distributor Lions Gate Home Entertainment 

film; in little over two hours, the 
wartime themes of survivor’s guilt, 
PTSD and the use of propaganda 
are all examined in equal measure. 
Lawrence puts in the kind of 
performance we all knew she was 
capable of, the likes of Woody 
Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks 
commit it up a notch from their 
supporting roles in the previous 
two films, and reliable thesps like 
Julianne Moore and the late, great 
Philip Seymour Hoffman maintain 
their A-game. 

The slightly slow opening third 
aside, this comes very close to being 
the perfect blockbuster film. With 
Part 2 on the horizon, we can’t wait 
to see how it ends. 

Steve Wright 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 



The rise to stardom 
of Jennifer Lawrence 
^ has coincided with 
. i the vastly improving 

• ^ 'I fortunes of the Hunger 

Games senes. Having gone up in 
quality with each film. Part 1 of 
Mockingjay \s undoubtedly the 
best yet. 

The level of depth it goes into is 
practically unheard of from a YA 






JUST GE LEAGUE: m' 

THRUNE OF ATLANTIS 

Details 15 //72 mins //2014//^> • 3E Released Out now Director 

Ethan Spaulding Cast Matt Lanter, Sean Astin, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Eillion 
Distributor Warner Home Video 



Following on from 

War, Throne Of Atlantis 
is the second film 
in DC’s animated 
feature series, this 
time focusing on the rise of Arthur 
Aquaman’ Curry (Matt Lanter). 

Marvel may be currently be 
leading the live-action film race, 
but there’s a lot to be said for DC’s 
animated output, with Throne Of 




Af/anf/s proving to be no slouch. In 
among the frenetic fist-fights and 
genuine high stakes the personality 
of each character is drawn out - 
obviously Aquaman takes centre 
stage, but it all feels legitimately DC 
and, most importantly, fun. 

The voice cast is made up of 
talented sci-fi alumni, including 
Firefly's Nathan Pillion as Green 
Lantern and The Lord Of The Rings 
Sean Astin as Shazam. 

Things tale off by the end point, 
with the action ceasing with a 
whimper rather than a bang, but 
otherwise this a solid enough effort. 
With another sequel being teased, 
we look forward to seeing what’s in 
store next. 

Steve Wright 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 




074 SdRNcM 



T OF WORMHOLES IN IS EXPLAINEO IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY IN IflTERSTElURh^ IT IS IN 1997'S SCI-FI HORROR EVERT HORIM WITH A FOLOEO PAPER ANO A PEN. 



www.scifinow.co.uk 







REVEWS HOME/HLM 

Interstellar /^The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Parti /'Justice League: Throne Of Atlantis /^Rabid /The Comedy Of Terrors /TOuija 




RABID 



Down with the sickness 



Details 18 //91 mins// 1977 //“^ //Released Out now Director David Cronenberg 
Cast Marilyn Chambers, Frank Moore, Joe Silver Distributor Arrow Films 



Cronenberg’s 

up to the mighty 
5/uVers sometimes 

■ gets overshadowed by 

its tower block-bound predecessor, but 
repeat viewings of Rabid show that it’s 
more than worthy of being judged on its 
own merits. 

Following a horrific motorbike crash. 
Hart (Frank Moore) and his girlfriend 
Rose (Marilyn Chambers) are rushed 
to the nearest medical centre, which 
happens to be an exclusive plastic 
surgery clinic. Hart escapes with a few 
broken bones, but Rose is in a coma 
and requires extensive skin grafts. 
When she finally wakes up, she finds 
that she has some new appetites. 
Thirsting for blood and carrying a 
horrifying virus. Rose turns the city of 
Montreal into a nightmare. 

Rabid’s combination of body horror 
and satire isn’t as neat as Shivers’, and 
it does see Cronenberg going over some 
similar ground. However, it’s packed 
with skin-crawling chills (that surgery 
scene still packs a hell of a punch) and 




boasts plenty of mordant wit. The final 
act feels indebted to the best of George 
A Romero, as the city’s inhabitants 
become rabid and ravenous and a 
government shoot-to-kill order is the 
only way to restore civilisation; the gory 
fate of a shopping mall Santa Claus is 
particularly memorable. 

The film also boasts a strong 
performance from adult film star 
Marilyn Chambers, who was making 
an effort to break into the mainstream. 
It’s an assured turn that keeps Rose 
sympathetic as she finds more and 
more victims for the phallic stinger 
in her armpit (yes, it’s definitely a 
Cronenberg movie). The film’s definitely 
more interested in her than Hart, who 
is as forgettable as Scanners' Cameron 
Vale or The Brood’s Frank Carveth. 

It’s a little scrappy and slightly messy, 
but sharp, shocking and effective. 

As you’d expect. Arrow Films has 
delivered an excellent Blu-ray package, 
assembling commentaries, interviews 
and a star-studded 1999 documentary 
on Cronenberg. Best of the bunch are 
a new interview with producer Ivan 
Reitman and an interesting - if brief 
- piece on the history of Cinepix with 
film writer Kier-La Janisse and make-up 
artist Joe Blasco. 

Jonathan Hatfull 
VERDICT ★★★★ 



IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



The Crazies 

A virus turns normal 
people into remorseless 
killers in George A Romero’s 
1973 chiller. 




THE COMEDY OF TERRORS 



Casket case 



Details 12 //84 mins// 1963 //'■^ • 3^ Released Out now Director Jacques 
Tourneur Cast Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Joyce Jameson, Basil 
Rathbone Distributor American International Pictures 




Comedy-horror is 

a difficult genre to 
nail. Adding too many 
laughs to the horror 
^ ° pot can overthrow the 

balance, leaving a mess that’s not 
particularly anything. Conversely, 
not adding enough creates a half- 
hearted horror with bad gags: not 
comedy, nor horror. The Comedy 
Of Terrors doesn’t fall complete 
flat, but it also doesn’t hit the nail 
anywhere near the head. 

An undertaker (Vincent Price) 
on the verge of bankruptcy finds 
himself with an urgent need to 
revamp his business. Not satisfied 
with stealing back and reusing 
caskets as he had been doing for 
years, he and his assistant (Peter 
Lorre) start breaking into the homes 
of wealthy old men to smother them 
and collect the commission when 



relatives come knocking, in need of 
a funeral. 

It’s often amusing, but rarely 
hilarious. It seems to have left the 
horror out altogether, and stands 
as an okay flat-out comedy that just 
happens to have some dead bodies 
in it. Even after such a fun cast and 
premise, it’s just average. Sadly, its 
best joke is probably the title. 
Poppy-Jay Palmer 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 




OUIJA 



Board to death 



DetailslS A85 mins // 2014//^*^/' Released Out now Director Stiles White 
Cast Olivia Oooke, Douglas Smith, Lin Shaye Distributor Universal Pictures UK 




As far as board games 
with cinematic potential 
go, the Ouija board at 
least feels like it should 
have a decent scary 
movie in it. However, this latest 
things-going-bump-in-the-night 
Blumhouse horror isn’t it. 

Bates Motel's Olivia Cooke 
plays Laine, who decides to invoke 
the spirits when her best friend 
seemingly kills herself. Opening the 
door to the other side doesn’t end 
well, and her group of friends start 
getting killed off one by one. 

Ouija proceeds in the kind of 
determinedly routine fashion that 
makes 90 minutes seem like 
forever. The script undermines 
another strong performance 
from Cooke, and a welcome late 
appearance from genre veteran 
Lin Shaye, with painfully familiar 
characters and a plodding setup. 
The occasional jump-scare hits 



home, but there’s no sense of 
tension or unease, simply because 
it’s all so crushingly familiar. 

This flat-pack horror feels like it 
came from a production line; devoid 
of personality or inspiration beyond 
recognising that Ouija boards have 
been creepy before. 

Jonathan Hatfull 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 




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T jifM cRDNENBERG WANTED WfSTAR SISSY SPACER FOR THE LEAD ROLE IN MID, BUT THE PRODUCERS DIDN’T LIKE HER ACCENT. 



SdFtJOW 075 








review 



CONTINUUM Family fortunes 

Details 15 //93 mins //2013 //*0 • SS2 • 4 H'uiies- Released Out now Director 

Richie Mehta Cast Gillian Anderson, Haley Joel Osment, Victor Garber, Rufus Sewell 
Distributor Entertainment One 

S Confimitim sells itself 

as a sci-fi suspense 
thriller, but if you take 
away the time travel, 

‘family drama’ would be 
a more apt description. 

When a university professor 
(Rufus Sewell) with a young family 
doesn’t return from a business 
trip, his wife (Gillian Anderson) has 
difficulty dealing with the mystery. 

Over a decade later, their son Erol 
(Haley Joel Osment) also becomes 
a budding scientist, mentored by 
his grandfather (Victor Garber), 
who believes the professor’s 
disappearance had something to 
do with his time travel research. 

Caught up in his own research, Erol 
takes it upon himself to find out 
what happened once and for all and 
tries to change the past. 

The story is interesting and 
unique, but it provokes mild intrigue 



HARDWARE Mr 

Not the terrible Martin Freeman TV series 

Details 18 A'90 m\r\s // 1990 //^> Released Out now Director Richard Stanley 

Cast Dylan McDermott, Stacey Travis, Iggy Pop Distributor Three Wolves Ltd 



rather than jaw-clenching suspense. 
Solid performances from the leads, 
especially Osment and Anderson, 
offer a lot of emotional depth. But 
again, the characters and their 
particular hardships would be more 
suited to a movie that didn’t span 
from a professor going back in time 
to meet Albert Einstein. 

Poppy-Jay Palmer 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 

m 



a Films can generally 

be divided into two rough 
categories: those that are 
before their time, and 
those that are of their 
time. There is a select band, however, 
that seem at odds with near enough 
every time period, making them hard to 
pin down. 

Loosely adapted from the 2000 AD 
short story ‘SHOK!’, Hardware sees 
mercenary Mo (Dylan McDermott) 




purchase the pieces of a robot, which he 
takes home to his girlfriend Jill (Stacey 
Travis). However, it soon becomes 
apparent that said robot is a MARK 13 
model, a self-repairing killer, leaving the 
pair fighting for their lives. 

The above description makes this 
sound like your average run-of-the-mill 
Terminator clone, but it’s so much more 
than that. Across the ruined landscape, 
frequent allusions to the current 
status quo are made. Overpopulation 
is apparently rife, the lead characters 
casually stroll past beggars and dead 
bodies, and Lemmy from Motorhead 
drives a speedboat/taxi (“You like 
music? Check these guys out” he says, 
casually blaring Ace Of Spades out the 
radio). It feels real and lived in, despite 
clearly having been filmed on some 
disused industrial estate. 

Elsewhere, the direction is stylised 
almost to the point of parody. First-time 
director Richard Stanley cut his teeth 
making music videos, and it shows, 
most notably in an extended sex scene 



WOLVES 



Here comes the fuzz 



Details 15 /V91 mins/V2014// Released 16 March Director David Hayter 

Cast Lucas Till, Jason Momoa, Stephen McHattie Distributor Altitude 




David Hayter (X-Men, 

Watchmenys directorial 
debut seems to be 
aiming to be a bad-ass 
* Teen Wolf, but the 
occasional splash of gore and rape 
references are about the only things 
that set it apart from the PG-13 dark 
fantasy romances that it thumbs its 
snout at. 

Cayden (X-Men's Lucas Till) hits 
the road when he wolfs out and kills 



r 



his parents. He soon realises that 
he’s not alone, and settles in a small 
lycanthropic community that lives 
in fear of big bad Connor (Jason 
Momoa). Can Cayden restore peace 
and order to the town? 

Hayter’s first instincts aren’t 
bad, and inspirations like Near 
Dark are most welcome, but by 
the time Cayden settles in with 
kindly farmer Stephen McHattie 
(Pontypool) and falls for the lovely 
bartender, we’re on familiar ground 
that isn’t made fresh by adult 
posturing. Using practical make-up 
is also admirable, but the wolves 
look, frankly, kind of cute. It’s not a 
total disaster but it sits a lot more 
comfortably alongside things 
like The Vampire Diaries than we 
imagine the filmmakers would like, 
which have a much clearer idea of 
their target audience. 

Jonathan Hatfull 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 




stretched out to cover the song length. 
This aside, he does a sterling job, with 
the browny orange colour palette fitting 
in perfectly with the grimy, lived-in feel 
of Hardware’s world. 

He occasionally plays things a little 
too authentic, with the darkness of the 
footage making things hard to follow 
at times, but for the most part the effect 
this has is a positive one. The lack of 
lighting is a practical choice on a set that 
has clearly been cobbled together out 
of spare parts, so we can’t really blame 
Stanley for this choice. 



There are very few films around like 
Hardware, which effortlessly combines 
its rust-coloured aesthetic with an 
uncompromising social commentary. If 
you haven’t seen it before, you could do 
worse than discover it now. 

Steve Wright 
VERDICT ★★★★ 



IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



Short Circuit 

The ‘nice’ counterpart to 
Hardware - watch this after 
to reassure yourseif that 
things aren't so bad. 




076 SdRNcM 



T jj2)DIRECT0R RICHARD STANLEY TRIED - AND DLTIMATELY FAILED - TD GET SEQDEL HARDWARE II: BH0UNDZER0m THE GRDDND. 



www.scifinow.co.uk 









REVEWS HOME/FILM 

Continuum /'Wolves // Hardware //The Toxic Avenger Part II I/I V //Doc Of The Dead 



THE TOXIC AVENGER 



Blunt force Troma 

Details 18 //102/108 mins// 1989/2000//*^ //Released Out now Directors Lloyd 
Kaufman, Michael Herz/Lloyd Kaufman Cast Ron Fazio, Phoebe Legere, John Altamura 
/David Mattey, Clyde Lewis, Heidi Sjursen Distributor 88 Films 





“15 years ago,” intones 
Marvel huckster Stan Lee over 
the opening credits of Citizen 
Toxie. “A mop boy named 
Melvin Fyrd fell into a case 
mH full of toxic waste and became 
a hideously deformed creature 
of superhuman size and strength. He 
became... The Toxic Avenger, the first 
superhero from New Jersey! Then came 
two shitty sequels, sorry about that. 

This is the real sequel.” 

Fourth and (so far) final film Citizen 
Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IVs ★★ 
willingness to throw third film, 

The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last 
Temptation Of Toxie ★★ , under 

the safety bus buys it time, but the truth 
quickly becomes as transparent as the 
budget - both films are about as crappy 
as each other. 



While 1986’s The Toxic Avenger 
became an accidental cult hit thanks 
to its genre-bending mixture of tropes, 
each successive film consciously 
targeted that same demographic with 
outlandish gore, unnecessary sex and 
Animal House smut, hefty socio- 
political subtext [Part III opens with 
a gang taking over a video store and 
insisting it stock only films released 
by MGM and Warner Bros et al, while 
indignant patrons cry “No! We like 
variety!”), crowded scenes full of 
amatuer extras gurning and jostling 
for screen time and painfully over- 
laboured gags. 

Over-laboured, in fact, is pretty 
much the definition of Kaufman’s 
filmmaking style at this point, and 
every fight scene or comedic interlude 
is milked for every long minute of 




its corn syrup blood or prosthetic 
phallus rutting. With just over a decade 
separating the two films. Citizen Toxie 
at least boasts higher production values 
(Toxie himself looks better than ever) 
and lengthy cameos (porn star Ron 
Jeremy, splatter king Eli Roth, Teenage 
Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin 
Eastman, a wooden and incoherent 
Lemmy Kilmister and Guardians Of 
The Gafaxy director James Gunn doing 



an uncomfortable imitation of Stephen 
Hawking), but ultimately the difference 
between the two films is a matter of 
decimal points. 

James Hoare 



Darkman 

Sam Raimi’s superhero 
schiocker mashes up the 
mix of horror and comedy 
with much darker resuits. 




DOG OF THE DEAD 



Alpha Romero 



Detailsl5/^lrniris/''2014/ 3E *blki4cbox •Amazon/ Released 30 March 
Director Alexandre 0 Philippe Cast George Romero, Max Brooks, Bruce Campbell, 
Robert Kirkman Distributor Altitude 




One of the things the 
world definitely doesn’t 
need - along with another 
desperately relevant 
(VIog/App/Planking) Of The Dead 
film from George Romero - is a 
documentary explaining what the 
sub-genre really ‘means’. 

In spite of itself, Alexandre 
0 Philippe’s Doc Of The Dead 



charms its way into your viewing 
schedule thanks to its entertaining 
interviewees that include Simon 
Pegg, Max Brooks, Robert Kirkman, 
Bruce Campbell (some Deadites 
are zombies, some aren’t - so that’s 
that settled) and Saint George, 
among others, and focus on the 
wider cultural appeal of the brain- 
snacking cadavers. The net is cast 
surprisingly widely too, with Voodoo 
practitioners and survivalists 
weighing in. 

The lack of significant study given 
to the nihilistic and visceral Italian 
and Spanish zombie films is pretty 
glaring though, and there’s still a 
market for a doc that ties Lucio 
Fulci’s unflinchinggrot into the Years 
of Lead or points to Falangism as the 
root cause for the zombie Templars 
of Amando de Ossorio. 

James Hoare 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 




SUBSCRIBE WWW.IMAGINESHOP.CO.uk 




AOPit 



AMD 



for mDre information regarding 
irthcoming sates visit the Vettis website 

All Vectis sales ara Room Auctions 
Z live internet bidding available at 

I wwwJnvaluable.corn 

S, www.vectiSrOOiUh 



AUCriONB Vi 







review 



FILM INFO 

Released 

Out now 

Year Made 

1965 

Certificate 

PG 

Creator 

Sydney Newman, 

Brian Clemens 

Cast 

Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg 

Distributor 

Studio Canal 

Running Time 

1,352 mins 

Format 





THE AVENGERS 



The Peel Deal 



BONUS 

FEATURES 

The pick of the new 
inclusions in this boxset 

Commentaries 

Director Roy Ward Baker, 
screenwriter/producer Brian 
Clemens, actress Elizabeth 
Shepherd and more give 
intriguing new insights into the 
making of the show. 

Alternative ending 

The classic episode ‘Death At 
Bargain Prices’ receives a whole 
new ending. 



It’s now half a century since gifted 
unknown Diana Rigg brought to life brainbox 
Emma Peel for the fourth season of The 
Avengers, and her effervescent rapport with 
Patrick Macnee’s special agent John Steed is the 
primary reason that these 26 episodes are still 
so compulsive and enchanting. 

The Avenger^ fourth season is often hailed 
as the creative-high watermark of this most 
unique, influential and deliriously British 
cultural phenomenon, and the sumptuous 
quality is evident at all levels of production. 

In Mrs Peel’s first year. The Avengers was 
shot on 35mm film for the first time (helping 
make it one of the first British series to run 




Trailers 

See how times have changed 
with the original previews for 
‘Strange Case Of The missing 
Corpse’, ‘The Gravediggers’ 
and more. 



on prime-time American TV), and the stylish 
cinematography is more crisp and vivid than 
ever on this long-awaited Blu-ray edition. 

Steed and Mrs Peel did their avenging 
in a fantastical, little English world of their 
own, populated by maniacal villains, shifty 
obsessives and larger-than-life archetypes, 
performed with relish by 
British character actors. 



Memorable turns include 
Ronald Fraser as a dotty 
railway enthusiast. Bill 
Fraser (no relation) as 
an incoherent blustering 
imperialist, Noel Purcell 
as a fervent, apocalyptic 
ark-builder, and Christopher 
Benjamin as a spectacularly 
fruity perfume magnate. 
This, Clemens reasoned, was 



the only sort of milieu where a bowler- 
hatted, Bentley-driving old Etonian and a 
kung-fu dynamo in a leather catsuit could 
get away with being undercover agents. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the line was 
allowed to blur between light fantasy and 
outright sci-fi, with some of the era’s best- 
remembered stories involving irresistible 
genre tropes like killer vegetables from 
space (‘Man-Eater Of Surrey Green’), 
deadly rainmaking devices (A Surfeit 
Of H20’) and merciless robot assassins 
(The Cybernauts’). From a show that had 
developed as a tough crime/espionage 
thriller, this approach wasn’t always 
welcomed by production company ABC. 
Another bone of ABC contention was the 
‘tag’ scenes - brief, comedic sequences 
of Steed and Mrs Peel travelling home at 
the end of each episode - which Clemens 
successfully argued as crucial to the 
programme’s overall tone and shape. 

Previously, Steed had already enjoyed 
a productive on-screen partnership with 
Honor Blackman’s Cathy Gale from 1962- 
64, herself an iconic figure of the time, 
and it was crucial for her successor to 
improve on this chemistry. It took months 
of auditions and tests before Elizabeth 
Shepherd was cast as Emma Peel, but after 
shooting began, it was evident that she 
wasn’t right. The footage was scrapped 
and more actresses tested, until in walked 
Rigg, who proved an instant revelation. 
Her Mrs Peel was the perfect match for 



Steed, and as we watch this dynamic 
duo working in rare complementary 
sync, it is evident how much the actors 
enjoyed each other’s company. In the 
commentary for episode ‘A Town Of No 
Return’, Clemens likens their interplay to 
“superb ping-pong”. 

But as much as the delivery and dialogue 
sparkle, perhaps the greatest joy is in the 
brief, underplayed glances and nods, wry 
smirks and wrinkled noses. At the climax 
of Clemens’ riveting Mrs Peel-centric 
character study ‘The House That Jack 
Built’, Steed arrives to save his companion 
just as she has already extricated herself 
from danger. “What happened to the 
shining armour?” she quips. “It’s still at 
the laundry,” he retorts. She then gives 
him a lingering, winsome look of grateful 
affection so radiant and sincere it visibly 
flusters the undemonstrative Englishman. 
They walk off arm-in-arm in pregnant 
silence, for once without a single quip. 

It’s electric, and it’s the reason The 
Avengers Season Four will still be watched 
and loved in another 50 years. That and the 
killer vegetables from space. 

Chris Chantler 
VERDICT ★★★★★ 



OR STAY IN AND WATCH. 



Strange Report 

Criminologist Anthony Quayie 
and photographer Anneke 
Wiiis investigate bizarre 
crimes in Swinging London. 




T 5 DIANA RIGG IS THE FIRST PERSON TD EVER PERFORM KUNG-FU DN SCREEN. 



078 SdRNow 



www.scifinow.co.uk 








REVEWS H0ME/1V 

The Avengers //Halo: Nightfall 



HALO: NIGHTFALL 

Continuing the terrible live-adaptation trend 

Details 12//98 mins//2014// Released 16 March Creator Sergio Mimica- 

Gezzan Cast Mike Colter, Christina Chong, Steven Waddington Distributor An imatsu 



a lt can be difficult to 

see a couple caught in an 
abusive relationship, but 
sometimes there’s nothing 
you can do but sit back, 
watch it unravel, and hope 
that something can be salvaged by the end 
of it. But if history has taught us anything, 
it’s that Hollywood and videogames just 
don’t work together. But still the pair 
continues to jump back into bed. The 
latest casualty to this ongoing toxicity? 

The Halo franchise and Ridley Scott’s 
already-tarnished reputation. 

Pitched as a prelude to the anticipated 
Halo 5: Guardians, this was supposed to 
be Microsoft’s opportunity to prove there 
is more to Halo than bodacious action. But 
here’s the truth of it all: the series hasn’t 
persisted over a decade on the strength 
of its narrative. Clearly, somebody forget 
to send this memo to The Pillars Of The 
Earth director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan and 



executive producer Ridley Scott. In fact. 
Halo: Nightfallbares all the components 
of a typical Syfy original - 98 minutes of 
stilted acting, cheesy effects, bad fight 
sequences and exposition-heavy dialogue. 

Halo: Nightfall tails to offer any 
glimpses into Halo 5, whilst failing to 
deliver any live action thrills as legendary 
manhunter Jameson Locke (Mike Colter) 
investigates a terrorist threat on a distant 
alien world. But then again, producing an 
action-heavy TV series is expensive, so 
what were we really expecting? Take the 
bombast out of Halo, and you are left with 
a story with the emotional depth of The 
Phantom Menace and action scenes that 
make Prometheus seem Academy Award- 
worthy by comparison. 

While we were hoping Halo: Nightfall 
would offer a glimpse into what we 
can expect from Colter as Luke Cage in 
Marvel’s AKA Jessica Jones, he has very 
little to work with. In fact, the entire cast is 





flat amid a deflating flurry of sci-fi tropes 
and bad writing. Halo has real potential to 
translate to Hollywood, but Microsoft has 
missed an easy opportunity to introduce a 
wider audience to its premier game series. 

Josh West 
VERDICT ★★ 



IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 




Halo: Forward 
Unto Dawn 

Working on a low budget, it’s 
fun for franchise die-hards, 
but nothing speciai. 









SdFiNow 



Bruno eatbala 



Publisher: Days Of Wonder // Players: 2-4 
//RRP: £44.99 



E verything about Bruno Cathala’s 

latest game is superb. It has gorgeous 
components, the rules are easy to learn, 
and it’s an innovative spin on the typical 
worker placement game. Oh, and did 
we mention that it allows you to control an 
impressive range of powerful djinns? 

Turn position is incredibly important in 
Five Tribes, so players need to bid against 
each other in order to go first. Each player 
can pay a number of gold coins to determine 
where they’ll stand. Initially, you will want to 
hang back to get an idea of the board state, 
but as the game progresses it becomes more 
advantageous to ensure that you do get to 
make the first move before your opponents. 

Once turn progression has been decided, 
players take it in turn to move the five tribes, 
which are represented by different-coloured 
Meeples. At the beginning, all the Meeples 
are distributed randomly across the 30-tile 
game board, meaning the tribes are spread 



The main board is made 
up of 30 double-sided 
tiles that ensure no two 
games are ever exactly 
I the same. 



I There are a number of , 
I different-coloured Meeples I 
\ representing Merchants, 
Assassins, Builders, 
r Elders and Viziers. 



Want to make sure you go 
first? You’re going to have 
to pay a hefty amount 
of coins for the ^ 
privilege. 



Access these powerful 
monsters to greatly 
affect how the game 
can play out. 



You’ll score bonus points for 
collecting as many different 
resources as possible. You need 
to be careful though, as each 
resource has a limited number 
available, making sets difficult 
L to complete. 



You won’t get very far 
without coins, so do 
everything you can to ensure 
that you always have a 
healthy amount to use. 



Put one of these 
down whenever you 
completely clear a 
tile of Meeples. 



080 I SdRNouv 



throughout the city. Players take a handful 
of Meeples from a tile, and then randomly 
distribute them on the adjacent tiles, making 
sure not to move backwards or diagonally. The 
final Meeple dropped must share a colour with 
one of the Meeples already on the same tile. 
The player then removes all the Meeples of 
that colour from the tile and gains the benefit 
of its power, which range from taking resource 
cards to gaining coins or killing other Meeples. 
If a player clears a tile completely then they 
immediately claim it, adding a camel and 
receiving any benefits found there. Benefits 
range from adding palm trees and palaces and 
being able to buy cards from the market to 
summoning powerful djinns. 

The djinns add greatly to the core game, 
having a variety of useful abilities that range 
from having your Viziers earn more points 
to taking control of tiles that contain only 
Meeples. There are 22 djinns in total, but 
the nature of the game means you’ll rarely 
see more than a few in play. Add the random 
nature of the tile and Meeple distribution, and 
no two games of Five Tribes are ever the same. 
The end result is a highly imaginative and 
competitive game that you will immediately 
want to place in your collection. 

BEST FOR: SOCIAL GAMERS 







MAGIC: THE 
GATHERING - 
MAGIC 2015 




1.NISSA,W0RIDWAKER 

£18 




2. GOBLIN 

RABBLEMASTERE16 




3. AJANI STEADFAST £10 




4. CHANDRA, 
PYR0MASTERE10 




5. LILIANA VESS £10 



VAULT 

Five Tribes: The Djinns Of Nagala 



DC Comics: Forever Evil 

Publisher: Cryptozoic // Players: 2-5 // RRP: £29.99 

I 



t’s been a long time coming, 
but you’re finally able to 
play as the bad guys in 
Cryptozoic’s popular deck- 
building game. For anyone who 
has never played a deck-builder 
before, the aim is to take it 
in turns to purchase cards, 
which are sent to your discard 
pile. Once your draw deck is 
depleted, you shuffle your 
discarded cards back in, slowly 
building your deck in time. 

Forever Evil works the 
same as previous games in the 
series, only now you control 
notable villains, from Blizzard 
and Deathstroke to Sinestro 
and Lex Luthor (sadly. The Joker 
is nowhere to be seen). The 
villains must build up 



their resources until they have 
the relevant skills to beat 
Batman, Superman and a host 
of other popular DC heroes. 

One big difference to 
previous games in the series 
is that there’s a far bigger 
focus on card-drawing than 
in previous 
expansions, 
meaning games 
can be far 
quicker once 
combos are 
started. The 
ability to earn 
Victory Points 
is also new. 

Specific cards 
earn the ability 
to earn extra 



points, which can make a huge 
difference at the end of the 
game. Add in far more cards 
with destructible powers, and 
Forever Ev// becomes a lot more 
confrontational than any of the 
past expansions. 

BEST FOR: FANS OF CONFLICT GAMING 










Arcadia Quest 



Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games // Players: 2-4 // RRP: £79.99 



A rcadia Quest is a fast-paced 
dungeon crawler that 
has been heavily informed 
by popular PVP computer 
games. The objective is to 
effectively take part in a large 
campaign, with the aim of 
ensuring your guild manages to 
defeat its rivals. 

Each player creates their 
guild using three of the 
available 12 starting characters. 
They must then select 
equipment and complete a set 
number of missions in order 
to win. Everything is themed 
to the story, meaning you’ll be 
doing things like rounding up 
enemies and closing the city’s 
gate to stop more enemies from 



appearing. The need to take on 
your opponents also adds an 
interesting spin to proceedings, 
as it makes the game incredibly 
I competitive. Death is handled 
I interestingly, with resurrected 
I characters drawing Death 
I Curses, which will give their 
I player a negative ability during 
1 the next round. 

The combat mechanics 
are dice-based but extremely 
robust, offering a surprising 
amount of strategy, 
particularly when managing 
crowds of enemies. It’s 
brilliantly fast-paced too, 
with each scenario typically 
taking around 45 minutes to 
play. Add in some truly 










ff. 









stunning components 
(particularly the incredibly 
detailed miniatures), and 
Arcadia Quest becomes one 
of the first must-own games 
of 2015, even if you don’t like 
standard dungeon delvers. 
BEST FOR: COMPETITIVE PLAYERS 



Expansion Of The Month 
ELDRITCH HORROR: 
MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS 

Publisher: Libellud // Players: 3-6 // RRP: £24.99 

After the disappointing Forsaken Lore, the 
new Eldritch Horror expansion is pleasing. 
Everything about Mountains Of Madness is 
epic. There’s loads of new content, such as 
brand new investigators, cards and plenty of 
locations and resources. It also introduces 
Focus Tokens, which enable you to re-roll die 
and perform other handy options. 

By far the biggest addition is the brand new 
board that attaches to the original, Talisman- 
style. It allows for the introduction of plenty 
of new enemies, including two incredibly 
dangerous Ancient Ones. AH in all, it’s a superb 
expansion that greatly adds to the core game. 



DoVouRememhet? 

THE WARLOCK OF 
FIRETOP MOUNTAIN 

HP Lovecraft 

Considering the massive success of the popular 
adventure book, it was perhaps inevitable that it 
would receive a board game translation. In many 
aspects it’s essentially a rebranding of the classic 
TSR game Dungeon, with your characters starting 
at the base of the warlock’s mountain and slowly 
building their way through it. 

Unlike Dungeon, the players were required to 
find the correct combination of three keys that 
would open the Warlocks’ famed treasure chest 
found at the end of the game. It adds a Cluedo-Wke 
element, with players trying to trick each other into 
revealing the required combination so they can 
gain the Warlock’s riches for themselves. 



SdRNOM 081 











Our pick of the best 
V this month 







ID ® 





COMBO QUEST 

PRICE £0.79/$0.99 
FOlUOS/ANDROID 






I Lovers of tapping, 
role playing and 
endless runners 
can finally play a 
game that combines all three. 
With Combo Quest, play as a tiny 
knight, slaying foes through to 
earn back the Combo Crown that 
was taken from you by a dragon. 
The main aim of the game is to 
see how far you can get on one 
life. The colourful backdrops, 
sound effects, fun chip-music 
soundtrack and lively characters 
make it a game that’s difficult to 
put down. 

RESTED.. TAP TAP HEROES 




DROP WIZARD 

PRICE. £1.99/$2.99 
FOR IDS 

I Get addicted to 
■ this fun new arcade 
game from Gionathan 
Pesaresi. Drop 
Wizard \s super-retro, with a 16-bit 
pixelated art style that comes 
with a sense of nostalgia. Play as 
Teo the Wizard, and navigate a 
bright and colourful land, dropping 
through platforms and stamping 
on bunnies, turnips and monsters 
to gain bonus points. Once you’ve 
mastered wand attacks and got 
them down to a fine art, you can 
start collecting health potions and 
power-ups while you jump. 

REST FO.. ARCADE FIENDS 




GHDIGEDFRDBDTS 

PRICE £3.99/$5.99 
FDR IDS/ANDRDID 



mi 



The hefty price 
may have you 
. backing off, but 

^ ' Choice Of Robots is 

actually pretty awesome, and well 
worth the fee. It’s a text-based 
choose-your-own-adventure 
type game. Build your robot from 
scratch, personalising every 
detail from its gender, pronouns 
and orientation to how it reacts 
to situations. Watch its stats 
grow and fall as it becomes more 
ruthless or empathetic! Every 
action has a consequence, so it’s 
up to you how you raise your robot. 

REST FDR INVENTDRS 






O Dt !iii?-.dji C^K'irl, K.Ukl-liAf Uml 



I lum> jji ■. 

Thr door Prcvfi n 

FIV^M(]rrF'p:-GHr4r N it 

liuk llv- Ihii- ' :> 

LcMl'i I lUH-dH 1 

uy iftjki# Am ifiui imih 
\hc kfiH 'h; “ IfKluilwii; ~rv«hJng ‘ 




THEWITGHER 
BATTLE ARENA 

PRICE FREE 
FDRJOS/ANDROID 

M For a fast, fun 
■§ and fantastical 
MOBA, T/7e W/tc/7er 
Batt/e Arena ticks all 
the boxes. Play over the internet 
in teams of three and commence 
battle to take down your rival 
players and capture conquest 
points. Battles are short and 
intense, so it’s perfect for on-the- 
go slaughtering. Sans connection, 
you can practice and fine-tune 
your technique by going up 
against the game’s Al. 

REST FDR: RATTLE VICTDRS 




n. 



i ' L * 

Ti«"w£5iLD m im wrrcME 




MERMAID’S NEWBDRN 
BABYDDGTDR 

PRICE FREE 
FDRJOS/ANDROID 

jitm 

I age rating of 4-i-, 
but how could anyone 
not be intrigued by 
an app with a title tile featuring a 
pregnant cartoon mermaid? It’s 
your job to look after the mummy 
mermaid and give her the best 
care. Rub lotions on her stomach 
and do blood tests before helping 
her through labour. From there, it’s 
your job to cut the umbilical cord 
and bathe, feed and generally take 
care of the baby. 

REST FDR: DCEAN DWELLERS 




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NEAL STEP 



FEATURES 

0 Essential Read; Snow Crash 

How Neal Stephenson 
crafted one of the greatest 
sci-fi novels of all time. 

GG Beginner’s Guide; 
PhiiipPuiiman 

Discover the best of the His 
Dark Materials creator. 

OPAiastairReynoids 

The sci-fi titan on how 
he was inspired by 
Gerry Anderson. 

IDOJohnRomitaJr 

The comics icon on 
sketching Superman. 

REVIEWS 

90 The Dead Lands 

91 Biack Horizon 
91Tamaruq 
92TheMechanicai 
92TheGioriousAngeis 
94 A Crown ForCoidSiiver 
94 Touch 

98 Miracieman 
99Aama3; 

The Desert Of Mirrors 

THIS IS YOUR BOOK CLUB 

Your Opinions 

Tell us what you’ve been 
reading on Facebook or 
Twitter, and we’ll print it 

Your Decision 

Let us know what you want 
to see. This is your section, so 
tell us what you think 

Your Reviews 

Write a review of the last 
book you read, and it could 
appear on scifinow.co.uk. 
Submit your review as a 300- 
word text file to scifinow@ 
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SdFBStow 083 






□ BOOKCLUB 





ESSENIUl READ: 

^ SNOW CRASH 

IS NEAL STEPHENSON THE LAST SCIENCE 
FICTION AUTHOR TO ACCURATELY 
PREDICT THE FUTURE? THE CONNECTED 
WORLD OF SNOW CRASH MAY NOT BE 
HERE YET, BUT IT’S WELL ON ITS WAY 



meal steph 



rorw.rd mythology fci tho 

Williom Gibson 



Was Nostradamus a 
science fiction writer? 
To label him as such 
would surely test the 
limits of any previous 
definition of the term, and yet that 
16th Century French apothecary is 
widely regarded as the ne plus ultra 
in a discipline venerated by both fans 
and practitioners of the genre: the 
ability to predict the future. From 
Jules Verne and HG Wells in the 19th 
Century to Isaac Asimov and Arthur 
C Clarke in the 20th, the worth of 
science fiction has often been judged 
on its ‘accuracy’ relative to the future 
worlds it depicts. Not every author 
attempts this kind of feat, of course, 
but those that do with any measure of 
success tend to be placed alongside 
the greats. 

Neal Stephenson is one such author, 
and that’s largely down to the 1992 novel 
that made his name: Snow Crash, which 
described in great detail an always online, 
anarcho-capitalist society that could 
plausibly be the end-point of humanity’s 
current trajectory. When asked about his 
abilities as a futurist since the publication 
of Snow Crash, Stephenson has tended to 
laugh the question off. To him, a sci-fi story 
is a shotgun blast of ideas, some of which 
will inevitably seem more accurate from 
several decades removed. In an interview 
with Tor, he conceded that the rate and 
breadth of change in the modern world has 
made any prediction almost impossible. 

SYNOPSIS 

J - 21st Century Los 

is a confusing 
place. No longer a part 
of the United States, a 
connected, fractured 
society ruled by big 
business and private 
fail interests, where a 

trillion dollar bill will scarcely pay for a 
cup of coffee. 

Not that anyone uses paper 
currency any more. Commerce, like so 
much else, happens in the Metaverse. 

In there, a person can be who they 
want to be, and experience what they 
never thought possible. Like Snow 
Crash, a new drug whose effects ripple 
through both the corporeal and virtual 
worlds, exclusively available only to 
those with membership to one of the 
most elite clubs in the Metaverse. 

Hiro Protagonist - A hacker, a 
swordfighter, and former pizza delivery 
guy to the Mafia - has never been one 
of those people, but a career change 
to the clandestine world of selling 
intelligence will change all that. Soon, 
he will know more about Snow Crash 
than is good for his health. 





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ESSENTIAL READ 



“[The] epiphany we had was that today’s 
sci-fi writers are being asked to predict the 
outcomes of innumerable futures in huge 
areas - like biotech, genetic engineering, 
computers - which is a lot more than was 
asked of Robert A Heinlein. He was like, 
‘Okay, there’s going to be rockets. Go. See 
what you can make of that.’ 

“There was like a structured plan for 
the future - a timeline - that just had to be 
filled in by Heinlein and company.” 

And yet, if any author was positioned 
to continue the predictive tradition 
of Heinlein and Asimov, it was surely 
Stephenson. Born in Maryland, USA 
in 1959, he was the child of a family 
dominated by scientists and engineers: 
his mother, his father, and both of his 
grandfathers all worked in the field, and 
when the time came to give direction to his 
own future at Boston University, he chose 
to study physics. Naturally, Stephenson’s 
environment during those formative years 
was reflected in his reading, which was 
almost exclusively sci-fi for an extended 
period - Robert Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit 
Will Travel and Andre Norton’s Zero Stone 
were personal favourites, although nothing 
within the genre was off-limits. 

For a time, Stephenson felt his mind 
expanding with every new discovery, 
but as he neared the end of high school 
and contemplated the start of his further 
education studying actual science, the 



genre had lost some of its lustre. It was the 
same old ideas with the same old execution 
- at least, that’s how it felt at the time - and 
eventually he stopped reading science 
fiction altogether. 

Then, one day in the iconic year 
of 1984, an epiphany hit: William 
Gibson’s Neuromancer 

“It was a real thunderbolt for me,” 
Stephenson recalled in an interview with 
Locus Magazine in 1999. “1 had gotten 
interested in writers who had a really vivid 
style: Hunter Thompson, Tom Wolfe. And 
if 1 was going to be a writer, that was how 
1 wanted to do it. Then to see that really 
vivid, literary style of writing in a science 
fiction book, and not a space opera, but 
something set on the surface on the Earth, 
and have these noir overtones, to me it was 
an amazing synthesis of several things 1 
was interested in.” 

Stephenson’s debut novel. The Big 
U, was published later in 1984, with his 
second. Zodiac, following in 1988. Read 
today, neither is immediately obvious 
as a Stephenson story, and that lack 
of distinctive character showed in the 
marketplace. Even so, early in his emerging 
career, the idea of labouring over novels 
that excited only a few thousand people and 
brought in just enough money to limp on 
to the next was far from exciting. For a brief 
period, Stephenson contemplated trying to 
emulate Tom Glancy - at that time one of 




the wealthiest authors alive - by writing 
politically charged thrillers. But he had one 
idea he simply couldn’t leave behind: an 
idea inspired by the booming popularity of 
home computers. 

“If they showed up at all in science 
fiction, for a long time computers showed 
up in ways that were obviously at variance 
with how computers actually developed 
in the real world. It was always the giant 
computer the size of a city block,” he said 
in an interview with Barnes & Noble. “The 
whole cyberpunk thing was, 1 think, a ^ 



© Reasons 
to read... 
Snow Crash 

1 Because Snow Crash is 
less than 500 pages long. 
Stephenson told TheAV 
Club, “I’m not a small-literary- 
novel kind of guy,” and he 
wasn’t kidding. His later novels 
routinely top out above 1,000 
pages, densely packed with 
detail and information. 

2 Because it’s more 
approachable than 
you’d think. Snow Crash 
is a lot funnier than most 
comparable novels, and 
relative to Stephenson’s 
books like The Baroque Cycle 
and Anathem, this is basically 
light entertainment. 

3 Because you use the 
internet. It would be 
foolish to claim that 
any single text influenced 
something as malleable as the 
internet, but Snow Crash is at 
the very least a footnote. 

4 Because it looks more 
and more like our actual 
future all the time. 
Cyberspace is one thing, but 
Stephenson’s take on the 
way corporations will come to 
supersede governments is also 
depressingly plausible. 

5 Because the name Neal 
Stephenson may become 
closely to actual virtual 
reality. As the “chief futurist” 
at Magic Leap, he’s one of the 
main thinkers at perhaps the 
exciting company to be blurring 
the lines between the digital 
and the real. 




The Los Angeles of Snow Crash is a disturbing 
evolution of the city we know today. 



Harlan Ellison 

loin in and share your thoughts on 
Twitter or Facebook 



SdFNouu 085 








□BOOKaUB 




Where Have 
I Seen This 
Before? 

DIGITAL WARRIORS 

THE SPRAWL TRILOGY 

Stephenson had 
started to lose interest 
in science fiction when 
he encountered William 
Gibson’s Neuromancen 
and yet by the time he’d 
finished he wanted to 
follow its iconoclastic 
trajectory. The Sprawl 
Trilogy, which also 
includes Count Zero 
and Mona Lisa Overdrive, 
is effectively the 
bedrock on which 
Snow Cras/7 would 
be constructed. 





i GRYPTONOMICON 

Some authors 
are uncomfortable 
with the ‘science 
fiction’ label, and 
yet Stephenson 
wears it with 
pride, despite the 
astonishing range 
of subject matter in 
his books. For him, 
the genre is defined 
by an approach 
to building the 
world, which is why 
Cryptonomicon 
feels so reminiscent 
of Snow Crash 
despite being set 
only in the present 
and past ratherthan 
the future. 



SECOND LIFE ^ 

Linden Lab’s 
pioneering online 
world doesn’t 
have the same 
cultural cache it 
did at the end of 
the last decade, 
but it will go down 
as a landmark in 
the development of 
social virtual spaces. 
More to the point. 
Linden Labfounder 
Philip Rosedale 
has cited Snow 
Crash as one of h\s 
key inspirations in 
forming the Second 
L/fe concept. 





THE MATRIX ^ 

The ‘virtual world’ concept is now a fundamental part of 
popular culture, thanks in no small parttothe publication 
of Snow Crash. But the most widely known virtual world 
arrived seven years later in the Wachowskis’ peerless action 
masterpiece. The main difference here is that humans are 
unwilling or oblivious captives in a gilded digital cage. 

^ READY PLAYER ONE 

There’s much more 
to Snow Crash than 
the ‘metaverse’ alone, 
but if you find the idea 
of society creating 
its own idealised 
simulacrum intriguing 
then you should 
make time for Ernest 
Cline’s 2011 bestseller. 
Ready Player Ones 
virtual world here is 
called ‘OASIS’, butthe 
themes Cline explores 
owe a clear debt to 
Stephenson. Well 
worth a read for fans 
of the genre. 



TRANSMETROPOLITAN * 

You scarcely need an 
incentive to recommend 
Warren Ellis’ scathingly 
funny comic series, 
but there is something 
of Snow Crash \n 
Transmetropolitans 
DNA. There are no virtual 
worlds or cyberspaces, 
exactly, but the depiction 
of a futuristic metropolis in 
which greed, consumerism 
and avarice run riot is very 
familiar. Definitely check 
it out as soon as you are 
able to. 





movement in which the people who wrote 
science fiction suddenly realised that 
we’d gotten it wrong to that point: that 
computers were turning out differently 
than we had imagined, and we had to 
go back and work them into the body of 
science fiction.” 

With Snow Crash, Stephenson 
accomplished that goal with remarkable 
confidence and no small amount of creative 
flourish. In a very real sense, it was the 
first example of a style that he would 
make entirely his own, but without the 
sheer volume and depth or detail that can 
make later works like Cryptonomicon, 

The Baroque Cycle and Anathem so 
intimidating. Stephenson wanted to rethink 
the role of computers and information 
technology in science fiction, but he didn’t 
want to disregard one of the strengths that 
made the genre so magnetic in the first 
place: a good story, well told. 

“I was just reading a review of my book 
by someone of the school that it’s kind of 
unsophisticated and almost embarrassing 
to include narrative in a novel, that it’s 
kind of sentimental and old-fashioned to 
have something like a plot,” he told The AV 
Cluhm 1999. “And that’s something I’ve 
never quite understood. There are all sorts 
of things that are supposed to go into a 
novel - there’s characterisation and use of 
language and ideas and a story - and it’s not 
clear to me why some people are picking on 
narrative or plot as if it’s an aspect of a novel 
that has to be done away with. 1 have no 
idea where that comes from.” 

Like Neuromancer, Snow Crash is 
essentially a story of the sort found in 
pulpy noir novels, only set against one of 
the most vividly imagined backdrops in 
the history of science fiction. Stephenson 
has a fondness for comparing the approach 
to that used by Melville for Moby Dick, a 
novel that can be boiled down to a short, 
sharp sentence, but that is also packed with 
evocative details of its time, place, and the 
psychological make-up of its characters. 
Snow Crash may not quite stand beside 
Moby Dick in terms of artistic achievement, 
but the fact that the analogy works on any 
level is testament to Stephenson’s feat of 
imagination and intellect. 

The 21st Century depicted in Snow Crash 
remains a striking vision. Governments 
all over the world have weakened and 
crumbled as corporations flourished and 
prospered, their influence so pervasive 
that commercial entities and wealthy 
individuals operate in much the same 
way as nation states, ruling over slices of 
the population and circulating their own 
currencies. Few traditional currencies 
besides the Japanese Yen have any value, 
and the US dollar has become so worthless 



086 SdRNOW 



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Get in touch -^iSciFiNow ^/SciFiNow 



ESSENTIAL READ 



that any denomination below a billion is 
scarcely worth printing. In the world of 
Snow Crash, America (such as it is) only 
does four things better than any other 
remaining country: “Music. Movies. 
Microcode. High-Speed Pizza Delivery.” 

And yet as rich and evocative as 
those details are, the lasting success of 
Stephenson’s book is summed up by 
‘Microcode’. Snow Crash is set across both 
real and virtual worlds, with the latter 
starting to overtake 
the former in terms 
of its influence 
and popularity. 

Stephenson’s 
depiction of how 
a vast, connected 
virtual society might work has played a 
role in the way the real one has developed, 
with products as diverse as World Of 
Warcraft and Google Earth owing Snow 
Crash a significant creative debt. 

And that process is far from over. At 
some point in the next few years, Genius 
VR will unleash its Rift headset on the 
world, and many believe the true potential 



of virtual reality will be realised. With the 
company now owned by Facebook, the 
kind of connected social and commercial 
spaces imagined by Stephenson could 
become a reality faster than anyone dared 
imagine even a decade ago. And the 
kicker? Michael Abrash, the chief scientist 
at Genius VR and the one person driving 
what VR will become more than anyone 
else, credits his entire career to a fateful 
encounter with Snow Crash. 



“By 1994, 1 had been working at 
Microsoft for a couple of years,” Abrash 
wrote when he first joined Valve, the 
company he worked for directly before 
Genius VR. “Gne evening that year, 
while my daughter was looking at books 
in the Little Professor bookstore on the 
Sammamish Plateau, 1 happened to notice 
Snow Crash on a shelf. 1 picked it up and 



started reading, decided to buy it, and 
wound up devouring it overnight. 1 also 
started thinking to myself that 1 had a 
pretty good idea how about 80 per cent of 
it could work right then, and wanted to 
implement it as badly as 1 had ever wanted 
to do anything with a computer - this was 
a full-on chance to make SF real.” 

A little over 20 years later, Abrash is 
poised to finally realise that ambition, 
and Stephenson is right there beside him. 

In December last 
year, Stephenson 
was unveiled as the 
‘chief futurist’ at an 
enigmatic start-up 
called Magic Leap, 
whose technology 
can allegedly make virtual 3D objects 
appear that are indistinguishable from the 
actual objects. The effect was impressive 
enough for Google to offer more than 
$500 million in funding, but Stephenson 
was somewhat sceptical. Then, just as the 
summer of 2014 was drawing to a close, 
four representatives from Magic Leap 
made Greist, the legendary sword from 
JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit, appear on his 
front-room table. He could scarcely sign the 
contract quickly enough. 

Perhaps it is too much to expect a writer 
to intuit the events and trends of the future. 
After all, Stephenson said it himself, and 
he’s come as close to doing just that as any 
science fiction author to emerge since. The 
difference is that in his new role at Magic 
Leap, Stephenson is perfectly placed to give 
it a nudge in the right direction. 

“All the SF authors who had been 
predicting starships and laser guns got 
it wrong. We never got those things,” he 
told The Guardian back in 2004. “They 
didn’t predict ubiquitous computers. And 
so it is an interesting exercise to go back 
and look at history now that we know just 
what a big deal information technology 
turned out to be. If you want to call that 
a hacker perspective, fine. But the fact is 
that you and 1 are doing this interview on 
email. We’re living in a society that’s been 
transformed by information technology in 
too many ways to enumerate. So the hacker 
perspective isn’t just the point of view of a 
few geeks; it is everyone’s now.” O 




The rise of Facebook has been just one of the 
eventualities Snow Crash foreshadowed. 




‘THE AUTHORS WHO HAD BEEN PREDICTING 



SI 



ARSHIP 



WENEV 



SAND 
ERGOT 



LAS 



mw 



NS GO' 



IT WRONG. 



lOSE THINGS” NEAL STEPHENSON 



Your Take On 
The Classic 

WHAT YOU 
THOUGHT 
@SCIFINOW 



“Snow Crash is 
the book that 
cemented Neal 
Stephenson as 
my favourite 
contemporary author. Nowt 
since has changed that! 
#BookClub” @spoonoftweets 

“Snow Crash 
is a reference 
of cyberpunk, 
exciting and full 
of ideas and 
a great way to discover Neal 
Stephenson. :-) #BookClub” 
©AdolfoRT 

“A copy can be 
spotted in the 
superb movie 
Pontypool - which 
it shares similar 
themes with #BookClub” 
@doctorfodder 







“Fabulous book, 
opened my eyes 
to the potentials 
of cyberpunk and 
an illustration of 
what science fiction could be 
#bookclub” @TheCrowLady 









“Ahhhh... Early 
1990s reading 
1st print of 
Snow Crash 
+ listening to 
FNM’s Angel Dust = Imagination 
euphoria. Excellent CyBeRpUnK 
#BookClub” @FiniteComic 



“Really slick & 
fun. Sometimes 
gets bogged 
down in linguistic 
theory but still 
good. Wish I had a RadiKS 
skateboard that’s for sure 
#BookClub” @ERRRskatel51 



ra 



“Oneof myfaves. 
Come on, who 
doesn’t wish 
they could walk 
around with two 
swords strapped on their back? 
#BookClub” @w3rdn3rd 




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know on Twitter or Facebook 



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SdFNOM 087 





A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO 

PHILIP PULLMAN 

Get to know Philip Pullman and his 
dark material words poppy-jay palmer 



P hilip Pullman’s back 
catalogue of nearly 20 
books is mostly aimed 
at children - he worked 
as a school teacher for 
several years before becoming 
a writer - but his stories about 
everything from magic, cursed 
rubies and fireworks to daemons 
and armoured polar bears have 
captivated avid readers from all 
age groups. 

Pullman was born in Norwich 
in 1946, and has since been 
something of a globetrotter, his 
family having taken up residence 
in England, Zimbabwe and 
Australia before settling in north 
Wales. When it came to university, 
Pullman decided to read English at 
Exeter College, Oxford, but found 
he didn’t really like the subject, and 
graduated with a third class BA. 

40 years on. The Times named 
him one of the 50 greatest British 
writers since 1945. 

His most famous works - the 
fantasy series His Dark Materials 
- have been sold by the millions all 
over the world. As well as gaining 

Lyra walked all over the furniture, 
but not the box office. 



legions of fans, the books have 
also won claimed actual awards, 
including The Gt/ard/an Children’s 
Book Award, the Carnegie Medal 
and the Eleanor Farjeon Award 
for children’s literature in 2002. 
The third book in the series. 

The Amber Spyglass, also won 
the Whitbread Book of the Year 
Award, which was the first and last 
time the prize has ever been given 
to a children’s book. 

Pullman’s interest in literature 
doesn’t stop at writing: he has also 
been quite vocal about book- 
related issues over the years, 
and has become an enthusiastic 
campaigner. In 2008, he led a 
campaign against the introduction 
of age bands on the covers of 
children’s books, as he believed 
it limited growth in children’s 
curiosity for literature. Last year, 
he joined the ‘Let Books Be Books’ 
campaign to stop children’s books 
being labelled ‘for girls’ or ‘for 
boys’ for similar reasons. 

From His Dark Mate rials to 
beyond, Pullman remains a vital 
and much-loved author. 



Which author 
would you like to 
see tackied next? 

Let us know on Twitter 
orFacebook 





Get in touch ^iSciFiNow ^ /SciFiNow 




Doctor Who star Billie Piper led 
the cast of the BBC version of 
The Ruby In The Smoke. 



PHILIP PULLMAN 



rHILIP 

P LLMAN 



PHjUP PULLMAN 



Gncl upon 
rXiMQRTH 



PH ii.tr 

PULLMAN 



Inner daemons Lyra banks a piequel Smmmmokin’ Tick took, tick lock Jesus wept 



The weather outside 
is frightful 

NORTHERN LyraBelacqua.a 
LIGHTS 

Publisher: lives in Oxford 
Scholastic in an alternate 
Point world where 
Published: every person 

Pr?cl iaPi^tectedby 

£3 99 daemon, a 

creature that acts 
as a manifestation of their soul. 
When children around her start 
disappearing, Lyra takes it upon 
herself to find out what’s going 
on. It turns out the children are 
being used in terrible experiments 
to separate humans from their 
daemons. It’s the first in the His 
Dark Mafer/a/s trilogy, and though 
the 2007 film didn’t do too well, 
the book series is still popular. 

“Never read anything like 
it, and managed to read 
it before most, so I felt like I’d 
‘discovered’ it.” 

@MrFattyC 



“On llkla Moor Baht ‘at, 
how’s that?” 

ONCE UPON Pullman keeps 
A TIME IN the magic of H/s 
THE NORTH Dark Materials 
Publisher: alive with a 

Scholastic Point collection of 
Published: companion 
2006 books. Once 
Price: 



£12.99 



Upon A Time In 



The North acts 
as a prequel to the series, and 
documents Lyra’s first meeting 
with her friend Lee Scoresby. 

After winning a hot-air balloon in a 
poker game, Lee decides to head 
north, but it’s not long before he 
gets mixed up in a deadly plot. 

It’s very short but beautifully 
illustrated, and comes with a 
board game tucked away in the 
back cover. 

“Love all his dark materials 
books - read all three 
#BookClub” 

@tweetworld74 



Rubies are a girl’s 
best friend 

THE RUBY IN The Ruby in The 
THE SMOKE SmoAe is the first 
Publisher: novel in Pullman’s 
Oxford Victorian, 
University action-packed 

_ series. The Sally 

Published: , Ji j. 

2935 Lockhart Quartet, 

Price: £7.99 snd documents 
16-year-old Sally’s 
dealings with an anonymous 
letter and a blood-soaked jewel 
after her father dies under 
mysterious circumstances. It 
was originally written as a school 
play, but Pullman rewrote it into 
a children’s book series. In 2006, 
it was adapted into a TV movie 
that starred Billie Piper, Julie 
Walters and a pre-Doctor Who 
Matt Smith. 

“Fantastic opener to a great 
series. Ideal for all ages, with 
excellent messages for the young 
and a brilliant female hero.” 

@karlhughes001 



Rage against the 
machine 

CLOCKWORK Clockwork may 
Publisher: be a children’s 
Doubleday fairy tale, but 
Published: jfs still pretty 



1996 
Price: £5.99 



heavy and filled 
with irony and 
suspense. The story serves as 
both a metaphor for the idea that 
society is sacrificing humanity in 
order to become a warning about 
the dangers of industrialisation 
and capitalism. It’s largely based 
on a quote from Thomas Carlyle’s 
Signs Of The Times: “Men are 
grown mechanical in head and 
in heart, as well as in hand.” As if 
all that isn’t enough to make you 
feel inadequately stupid, the novel 
was also adapted into a children’s 
opera not once, but twice. 

“It’s a thrilling tale with 
hints of the Brothers 
Grimm. Perfect for kids and adults 
who enjoy haunting fairy tales.” 

@SarahJAJones 



Forgive me Father, 
for I have sinned 

THE GOOD MAN Jesus is a moral, 
JEGOGANDTHE impassioned and 
SCOUNDREL godly man. His 
CHRIST •^•'other Christ is 
Publisher: ^ of a bastard 
Ca nongate who wants to use 
Books Jesus’ legacy to 
published found a powerful 

Price: £8 99 church. Pullman 
is well known for 
quite being outspoken when it 
comes to religion (he’s a massive 
atheist) and this is basically a 
retelling of the bible, so it goes 
without saying that The Good 
Man Jesus And The Scoundrel 
Chr/sf isn’t for everyone. Some 
think it’s blasphemous, while 
others think it’s stellar. You’ll just 
have to judge for yourself. 

“Started it, got distracted 
and didn’t go back to it 
#BookClub” 

@tompl 



SUBSCRIBE WWW.IMAGINESHOP.CO.uk 



SdFNOM 089 





BOOKCLUB 

Details Author: Benjamin Percy Publisher: H odder & Stoughton Ltd Price: £17.99 Released: 9 April 

SulvivalS 



CHOOSE YOUR TOP FIVE 
©SCIFINOW ON TWITTER 




THEROAf 



1. The Road 

Cormac 

McCarthy 

“ The Road. 
Harrowing, brutal, 
but astounding. 
Probably an 
obvious choice, 
but still, stands 
out. #BookClub” 
@WriteJoeWrite 




2.ZFor 

Zachariah 

Robert C 
O’Brien 

“I remember 
years ago 
reading ZFor 
Zachariah 
and loved it. 
#BookClub” 
@BeccaMorgs 




3. 1 Am 
Legend 

Richard 

Matheson 

“ I Am Legend, 
because it’s both 
scary as hell and 
a tragic story of 
survival at the 
same time. ” 
@Evazorek 




4. The Stand 

Stephen King 

“The Standby 
Stephen King. 
Another obvious 
choice, but an 
engrossing read. 
#BookClub” 
@NigelStone2 




BL0DO 

MUSIC 



5. Blood 
Music 

Greg Bear 

“ Blood Music 
by Greg Bear. 
Brain meltingly 
inventive end 
to all things. 
#BookClub” 
@doctorfodder 



090 SdRIMow 



To borrow a phrase from Battlestar 
Galactica: all this has happened 
before, and all this will happen again. 
The Dead Lands is set in a post- 
apocalyptic future after disease and 
nuclear war have ravaged the planet, 
but the epic journey its characters go 
on is a recreation of a historical one. 

In 1804, the Lewis and Clark 
Expedition sets off from St Louis, 
Missouri on a scouting mission 
to stake out new territory in the 
western United States, making it all 
the way to the Pacific coast before 
retracing their steps to report back to 



President Jefferson. So in Benjamin 
Percy’s novel, Lewis Meriwether 
and Wilhelmina Clark also set out 
on a voyage of discovery across 
western America. 

But where the real Lewis and 
Clark had to deal with uncharted 
countryside, wild animals and 
hostile Native tribes, their fictional 
counterparts have to find a path 
through bombed-out cities, terrifying 
genetic mutations and savage 
bands of survivors. Also, they’re not 
setting out on a government backed 
expedition - they’re fleeing the 



“THE HISTORICAL PARALLELS A 






ERESTING,BUTNO 



ESSEN 



ALTO 



UNDERSTANDING THE STORY” 







tyrannical mayor of the Sanctuary, the 
walled fort that the future St Louis had to 
become to escape the plague. 

The historical parallels are 
interesting, but by no means essential 
to understanding the story. It’s your 
standard dystopian stuff: having 
destroyed the world, the dregs of 
humanity painfully recreate social 
hierarchies in miniature so that the rich 
and powerful stay well fed and everyone 
else starves to death. Percy uses some 
particularly gruesome imagery to get his 
point across, so if the themes feel a little 
over-familiar at times, well, they’ve rarely 
been expressed in such a visceral way. 

Divided into four parts, each devoted 
to a different stage of Lewis and Clark’s 
journey, this is a pretty hefty book, 
and Percy gives himself plenty of 
characters to play with. The expedition 
party is made up of six main characters, 
each of who is given space for his or 
her own motives and emotional arc. 

And then there’s what feels like an 
entire city back home, and a new colony 
over the horizon. The sheer number of 
different viewpoints gives weight to the 
novel, and the number of characters also 
means Percy is free to kill off (almost) 
any of them at any point. That, more 
than any description of giant spiders, 
makes the world of The Dead Lands feel 
genuinely dangerous. 

Sadly, the ending is a pretty damp 
squib. In another Battlestar Galactica- 
ism, when the characters finally 
reach the end of their long journey, 
what’s waiting for them is inevitably 
disappointing. And shoving an unlikely 
epilogue onto the end doesn’t make it 
any more satisfying for the reader. 

There are ideas in this book - stacks of 
them - but not many of them actually go 
anywhere. Characters get forgotten or 
written out abruptly, and weapons are 
disposed of harmlessly. 

By the end, what you’re left with is 
the depressing impression that history 
will keep rolling on, people will never 
change, and an awful lot of endeavour is 
pointless. Not exactly cheery stuff, is it? 

Sarah Dobbs 

VERDICT ★★★ 




IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



The Stand 
Stephen King 

Another massive novei about a 
deadiy flu virus and the horrific 
journeys endured by its survivors. 



www.scifinow.co.uk 







Get in touch ^ iSciFiNow ^ /SciFiNow 



Details Author: Alex Marshall Publisher: Orbit Price: £16.99 Released: 14 April 




In a divided land brought 
tentatively together under the new 
reign of the Crimson Queen and 
the religious support of torture 
enthusiasts, Cobalt Zosia looks to 
topple the new queen and wreak 
vengeance on those who have 
wronged her by reuniting her 
former war allies. This is a full-on 
devil-summoning, pipe-smoking. 




dagger- wielding brutal quest 
fantasy, then. While it sounds like 
a rather familiar tale, A Crown 
For Cold Silver’s world is a joy 
to fall into for reasons beyond 
recognisable revenge plots. 

For those bored to tears of books 
filled with heterosexual men, 
the book is a refreshing break, 
providing a range of realistic and 
varied characters more concerned 
with political affiliation and race 
than gender or sexuality. The 
characters are well- written, from 
the battle-hardened Stricken 
Queen to her five Villains, though 
a few jarring notes hit in the form 
of slang from a handful of the 
younger characters. Still, for the 
most part it expertly pulls off 
the combination of accessible 
modern language (ie a sugarload 
of swearing) and more familiar 
fantasy language, giving a realistic 
edge to all the talk of devils, animal 
people and oh-so many kinds of 
inebriating substances. 

It’s unfortunate, then, that this 
information comes so fast. While 



setting up A Crown For Cold Silver 
to be a much easier read a second 
time around, it can be a little 
distancing to have such a variety of 
unfamiliar terms thrown at you in 
such quick succession. However, it 
is a great read, and as more details 
reveal themselves along the way, 
we’d have loved to have spent 
more time in the casual company 
of its players. Cities, provinces, 
characters and political groups 
are thrown around so casually 
that while it does create a realistic 
world, it is one that the reader can 
feel a little bombarded by. 

Overall, though, the multi- 
faceted quests of the several 
individuals the book follows are 
gripping, and will suit any quest- 
lover looking for a new addiction. 
Rebecca Richards 

VERDICT ★★★★ 



Illusion 
Paula Volsky 
A political fantasy with a 
more singular narrative, it 
follows through a time of 
social unrest. 




Author: EJ Swift Publisher: Del Rey Price: £8.99 Released: Out now 



TAMARUQ S 



The secret is out 



Thank goodness for 

conclusions. If ever a trilogy 
needed a strong finish it’s The 
Osiris Project Anyone who has 
had the strength to struggle 
through the first two books in 
the series will jump for joy at the 
sheer beauty of this finale, and 
not just because the end is nigh; 
Tamaruq really is a revelation. 

When we last saw Adelaide 
Rechnov in book one, she was 
abandoning her privileged life 
in favour of rebellion. Tamaruq 
picks up her story soon after 
her escape to the west, targeted 
by the revolution. As a valuable 
asset, she finds herself privy to 
the shocking secret of Osiris, 
the lost city. But this is not just 
Adelaide’s story: there are other 
characters to follow up and new 
ones to meet. 



EJ Swift chooses to introduce 
multiple view points as the 
narrative switches perspectives 
and mode. Anonymous diary 
entries and video messages 
serve to keep the story 
grounded within its own world, 
as well as intensify the mystery. 

The redf leur epidemic of 
book two continues its horrific 
journey. Vi kram’s survival of 
the killer disease is of major 
interest to various factions, 
and he is soon a wanted man. 
The romantics among us may 
ponder the fate of Vikram and 
Adelaide, but to reveal anything 
of the star-crossed lovers would 
be a disservice to both reader 
and writer, so lips remained 
firmly sealed on this matter. 

Tamaruq is not a book to be 
attempted solo - the journey 




would be fraught with peril - but 
if you can survive the first 
couple of necessary miles, you 
will be rewarded when you reach 
your destination. 

Claire Nicholls 

VERDICT ★★★★★ 

IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 

The Abyss Beyond Dreams 
Peter F Hamilton 
A self-proclaimed prophet 
visualises a lost civilisation, 
leading him into a void. 




REVIEWS BOOKS 



What you lot have been 
reading this month 















“Just finished #GhostStoryby 
@peterstraubnyc really intense 
with a really intriguing ending. 
Can’t recommend enough 
#BookClub” @Cascararogue 



“Currently reading # Pygmy by 
#ChuckPalahniuk ... difficult 
start but completely hooked! 
#BookClub” @spokar 



''Forsaken by Kelley Armstrong, 
it is brilliant as are all her books! 
#BookClub” @quidditysea 



"After The Endingby Lindsey 
Fairlight n Lindsey Pogue. 

It’s extremely gripping n has 
different writing styles. Which I 
like. #BookClub” @lil_mis_dx 




“Just in the middle of Mystery 
Of Edwin Drood. Not read it 
before. Not bad - even though 
I won’t find out the ending! 
#bookclub” @TheCrowLady 



“Just finished Robert 
Bloch’s Psycho and now on 
Del Toro and Hogan’s The 
Fa//.#bookclub’’ 
@wordsrmagic2me 



“ The Emperor’s Blades, by 
@BrianStaveley it’s really 
good. Great characters 
and interesting setting. 
#BookClub!’’ @Evazorek 



“Currently reading The 
Miniaturist It’s creeping me out 
and I love it. #BookClub’’ 
@EffingRainbow 



“ The Bone Clocks by David 
Mitchell. Pretty good so far. 
#BookClub” @Harlegator68 



"Jurassic Dead, again. Zombies 
and dinosaurs? What’s not to 
love? #BookClub” 
@robbrichardson 



"Mayhem by 

@SarahPinborough. It’s creepy 
as Hell. Love it! #BookClub” 
@Tim M Matthews 




"Dance With Dragons book 
2. GRRM had been padding 
out the story a lot but things 
are starting to pick up again. 
#BookClub” @Captain_Revo 



Tell us what you’re reading ^ 

on Twitter or Facebook JL 



SUBSCRIBE WWW.IMAGINESHOP.CO.uk 



SdFNOM 091 





□BOOKCLUB 




^NDS»> 

CM Pendleton 

How would you pitch A 
Dark Tyrann/? 

A Dark Tyranny is 
primarily a traditional 
fantasy. I see it as a 
bridge between those 
that don’t read fantasy 
and those that love 
the genre. It’s written 
to not intimidate a 

non-fantasy reader, yet fulfill what standard 
fantasy readers are expecting. Book one 
is largely about survival and discovery. 

The world of EhlCir is at war. The smallest 
continent of EhlCir is Altaris. They have been 
spared from most of the world’s conflicts, 
due to their isolated location. They are very 
much like the US at the beginning of WWII. 
The key is to survive the initial onslaught, 
regroup, and discover why the world is even 
at war. 




Have you always been drawn to fantasy? 

I grew up reading fantasy. I love other genres, 
but fantasy has always had a soft spot in 
my heart. I don’t see myself as writing only 
fantasy. However, I do see this series moving 
forward for quite a while. 

Did you start it with the idea that it was 
the first of a series? 

I always envisioned this as a series. It is 
a story that just won’t fit in one book. 

I’m getting a lot of reader requests for 
standalone books about various characters. 

“WRITE A FANTASY BOOK 
THAT YOOWOOLD WANT 
TO REAO. THEN, EDIT IT” 

It’s an interesting idea that I like. The world 
of EhlCir will keep me busy for some time. 

Did you have any specific inspirations 
whiie writing the novei? 

I’m inspired by tons of different people. 
Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Tales, Stephen 
King’s advice to writers, and Arturo Perez- 
Reverte’s ability to inject historical fact 
into his mysteries. My wife gave me a book 
by Richard Cohen about the history of the 
sword that was amazing. There are so many 
people. I wish I could list them all. 

What advice wouid you give first time 
authors embarking on a fantasy series? 

Write a fantasy book that you would want 
to read. Then, edit it 
into a fantasy book 
others would be willing 
to buy. You should have 
confidence in your 
writing and story. 




A Dark Tyranny by CM 
Pendleton is available 
now on Amazon. 



Details Author: MG Harris Publisher: Orion Price: £7.99 Released: Out now 

GERRY ANDERSON’S GEMINI FORGE 
ONE: BLACK HORIZON 



Before the late, great, 
supermarionation genius Gerry 
Anderson passed away he began 
working on a project that would 
not require visible puppet strings, 
part time hand actors or creepy 
green rings. This new international 
rescue squad were to be introduced 
to the world not by the medium of 




supermarionation, but via the pages 
of a novel. 

The action in the first of the 
Gemini Force 1 series, focuses 
mainly on youngster, Ben 
Carrington, born of wealthy, 
adventurous parents, he has never 
had to worry about money or his 
future. Until, his father tragically 
dies in a freak climbing accident 
leaving a beautiful widow and 
bewildered son at the mercy of the 
even more wealthy and slightly 
letchy Jason Truby. Truby persuades 
the grief stricken pair to join his elite 
but super top secret rescue team 
and before you can say “Spectrum 
is green” they are off saving lives. 
That is, of course, if Ben can prove 
himself first. 

In true homage to Jeff Tracy 
et al, the GFl team live on a base 
hidden by a Caribbean reef, wear 
matching outfits and fly a bunch of 
ludicrously complicated aircraft, 
one is even a futuristic, pimped up 
version of Ghitty Ghitty Bang Bang! 



OGtailS Author: lanTregillis Publisher: Orbit Price: £8.99 Released: Out now 



^ THE MECHANICAL 

The cogs of revolution 



In a world where self-aware 
servants have taken on all 
the menial roles of everyday 
life, one ‘Clakker’ witnesses 
something new: a mechanical 
who stands up to his masters. 

Such is the hook for Ian 
Tregillis’ alternative-history 
fantasy The Mechanical, 
an original approach to a 
well-known subject matter; 
human ethics and free will. 

But instead of flinging us 
into space, Tregillis goes 
into the past and alters the 
flow of history from before 
the Industrial Revolution. In 
his world, the world view of 
Christiaan Huygens and the 
politics of the Netherlands have 
emerged victorious from the 
tumult of the Renaissance and 
subsequent struggle between 



reason and revelation, resulting 
in the world of The Mechanical. 

And it is a fascinating world 
indeed. Although populated in 
part by archetypical characters 
and sometimes rote plot 
devices, by injecting dollops 
of alchemy and a dash of 
Old-World royal jostling into his 
unique version of the rise of the 
machines. The Mechanical \s 
very much its own entity. 

Tregillis is a capable sculptor 
of narrative. He rarely drags 
on in his descriptions, painting 
a complex picture of his world 
one section at a time. He 
imbues most characters with 
a specific internal voice, ably 
switching between points of 
view without it ever jarring. And 
the central character, a Clakker 
known as Jax, is the most 



GFl is slap bang up-to-date, 
perfect for it’s gadget savvy, 
young target audience. The rescue 
missions are exciting although a 
bit too detailed to fully visualise 
the action, this may waste some 
valuable reading time as you re-read 
in an attempt to work out what the 
dickens is actually happening. 

There is no mistaking the 
origin of this new and fearless 
rescue squad and a legacy lives 
on thanks to the dedication of 
Anderson’s son, Jamie Anderson, 
a whole heap of devoted fans 
and the penmanship of author, 

MG Harris. Gemini Force 1 hits 
the bookshops two years after 
Anderson’s sad passing. 

Claire Nicholls 

VERDICT ★★★ 



IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



The Joshua Files 



MG Harris 




A UFO geek suspects his 
father has been abducted by 
aliens, he unearths a world 
ending prophecy. 




engaging automaton you’ll 
encounter in any recent book. 

This opener to the Alchemy 
l/l/arstrilogy delivers a mostly 
fresh breath of sci-fi fantasy. 
Erlingur Einarsson 

VERDICT ★★★★★ 

IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 

■ ^ The Difference Engine 

f ^ T William Gibson & 

Bruce Sterling 

- ' 1 Madness and Wellington are 

- - ^ paired in this novel. 



092 sdFflow 



www.scifinow.co.uk 







stay in your homes. 
THIS IS NOT A DRILL 



motion picture 



OVERLORDS 



Would you survive the robot invasion? 

Pick up or download your copy today 




www.gollancz.co.uk 



Start reading now: http://bit.ly/readrobotoverlords 




^ nr**—- 

i 



l * ■*' 



§ 

0 

§ 

'i\ 




j^jSTIfNP 



poBsor^ 



“WOMEN HAVE NOT USURPED MEN; 
THEY’RE NATURALLY MORE DOMINANT” 



Details Author: Justina Robson Publisher: Gollancz Price: £14.99 Released: Out now 

THE GLORIOUS ANGELS 



It’s a woman’s world 

It’s kind of hard to define where The 
Glorious Angels fits in with other sci-fi novels. 
That’s not to say that it doesn’t - it just stands 
out from so many others, not least for its 
unique matriarchal society. 

Set in the empire of Glimshard under the 
reign of Empress, the story follows a series of 
characters as their city goes to war with an 
unknown enemy. Told from the perspective 
of multiple characters, from the Empress 
herself, to the spies and even an alien 
creature called a Karoo, the story is incredibly 
intelligent and well structured. 

What’s really fascinating about The 
Glorious Angels is the simple fact that it’s 
a matriarchal world. It’s not that women 
have usurped men; they’re naturally more 
dominant. There’s no resentment, and no 
assumption that it should be the other way 
round. It’s really refreshing to see that this 
status of females doesn’t have to be justified. 

Despite its dominance of females, Robson 
doesn’t rely on the stereotypes of each gender 
in her story. She delves into so many emotions 
and topics, including lust, romance, family 



and independence, but it’s all grounded in 
reality and you never get the impression that 
the characters are shallow or incompetent. 

It’s a really tough read and requires 
attention and concentration in abundance 
to truly follow, but the characters are 
incredibly deep and personable, providing 
their own unique interpretation of situations 
as they occur. There’s a real mix of emotions 
and ideas explored across the course of 
the book - all told from each character’s 
point of view, seamlessly shifting from one 
perspective to another. 

Despite its predominant theme, it’s not 
a political commentary. What this book 
really does is tell an engaging, complex story, 
and it tells it well without condescending 
to stereotypes. 

Philippa Grafton 

VERDICT ***** 






IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



Gleam 

Tom Fletcher 

Set on the other side of the fence, Gleam 
follows Alan through the wilderness after 
he’s expelled from nis empire. 



Defails Author: Claire North Publisher: Orbit Price: £12.99 Released: Out now 



TOUGH 



The skin 
you’re in 



Last year, Claire North gave us the superb 
time-tripping novel The Fifteen Lives 
Of Harry August Now, she returns with 
another story of al most-immortality and 
the price that must be paid for living at a 
remove from the rest of humanity. 

Our narrator can jump from body to 
body, effectively possessing their host at 
the merest touch. She is hundreds of years 
old, but suddenly finds her life under threat 
when a shady organisation hunts her down. 
Now, the being known as Kepler must find a 
way to survive and figure out who exactly is 
behind the attempts on her life. 

North throws the reader right into the 
midst of the action, picking up the story 
as Kepler barely escapes the body of her 
murdered host in Istanbul. She sets off on 
a journey across Europe, and the author 
vividly renders a succession of cities, train 
journeys and hotel rooms in incredible 
detail. Kepler’s escape is interspersed with 
scenes from her history. 

As with Harry August, North seems 
interested in the disassociation that 



comes from living too long, with Kepler 
one of the few romantics in a group of 
pleasure seekers and psychopaths. She 
creates scenes of affecting pathos, as 
well as some shocking violence (the 
exploits of the ghost known as Galileo are 
certainly memorable). 

However, Kepler’s narration is only 
intermittently involving: she’s a lot easier to 
root for as a vengeful fugitive than a jaded 
sprite, while the present-day storylines are 
less exciting than her trips into the past. 
That being said, North is highly adept at 
finding small details that bring her world 
to life and the occasional lulls are quickly 
broken. Touch might not be as good as its 
predecessor, but it’s an entertaining thriller 
that continues to showcase North’s talent. 



Jonathan Hatfull 

VERDICT ★★★ 




The First Fifteen Lives 
Of Harry August 
Ciaire North 

Teiis the story of a man who 
repeats his iife over again. 








loocrtuiffs 



' touch 



094 SdRNOW 



www.scifinow.co.uk 











Patience Is A Virtue. 



R w ^ Aiir • «s*:_ 



www.pegunfo 



WARGAMING.NET 

ei & nun e 



Much like its namesake from the savanna of Africa, the Leopard 1 in World of 
Tanks performs best as a lurking predator It is equipped with the high 
penetration 105 mm Bordkanone L7A3, the most accurate gun in the game. 
It’s firepower paired with a superior view range and high mobility, makes the 
Leopard 1 an excellent sniper, quickly able to re-position itself to 
advantageous positions and outflank enemy lines. 



In World of Tanks you can command the Leopard 1 from the driver's seat. 
World of Tanks is a PC online game dedicated to tank warfare in the 
mid-20th century with over 300 of history’s most iconic tanks. 



A variety of tiers, upgrades, equipment and decals allow you to make each 
tank, your progression and your gameplay experiences unique. 



Play I'or ITcc at Worldorianks.cu 







Get in touch ^^iSciFiNow ^/SciFiNow 



GeriY Anderson 
saw the future 

POSEIDON'S WAKE AUTHOR ALASTAIR REYNOLDS TALKS ABOUTTHE PRESCIENCE OF GERRY ANDERSON'S 
SCI-FI AND THE IMPORTANCE OE CREATING A EUTURE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN... 

WORDS ALASTAIR REYNOLDS 



H ere are some one-line plot synopses from a TV 
series set close to the present day. 

After a military coup, a dictator 
misappropriates global aid funds to develop 
drone warfare technology to use against his 
own citizens. A stricken submarine ends up in the 
territorial waters of a Central American failed state, 
threatening to derail international peace talks. In a 
Middle Eastern Sultanate, a political assassination leads 
to a constitutional crisis, imperilling the progressive, 
democratic policies of the rightful successor to the 
throne. In the Arctic, a nuclear accident heightens an 
already tense East-West standoff. . . 

Failed states. Democracies. Autonomous weapons. 
Middle East crises. Rising nuclear tension. The East and 
West at each other’s throats. 

Sound familiar? 

This is the world of 2013 - or rather the world of 
2013 as envisaged in 1968, when Gerry Anderson 
began making Joe 90, the last of his series to be based 
exclusively around supermarionation. Never as popular 
as Stingray, Thunderbirds or Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 
nonetheless remains strikingly prescient in its vision of 
a messy, mixed-up 21st Century, neither entirely good 
nor entirely bad, neither simplistic utopia nor grim-dark 
dystopia. The storylines may be rudimentary, and there’s 
seldom any real sense of jeopardy in Joe’s adventures. 




and yes, it’s puppets (you have to get past the puppets. 

I’m afraid), but the world presented here is a much closer 
fit to our present than that predicted by almost any other 
TV series of similar vintage. 

No one wears shiny suits or shoulder pads. People 
wear normal clothes, live in normal houses or thatched 
cottages, they drive on normal roads with normal road 
markings and road signs. There’s still a Dorset. They go 
on skiing holidays, fishing trips, attend piano recitals and 
so on. Even the vehicles, while futuristic, look perfectly 
plausible to modern eyes. Unlike Star Trek, which 
presented a flawless post-monetary future completely 
detached from our own, Joe 90’s future was built on the 
present. This was something Gerry Anderson got right in 
almost all his puppet shows - a sense that even decades 
hence, a lot of old stuff would still be hanging around, 
and while global institutions might come and go, the 
world would still be as busy and complex as it is in the 
present. There would still be money, and where there was 
money there would still be bank robbers and forgers. 

The Anderson shows didn’t necessarily share the same 
future, although it generally looked as if they did - but 
what they did share was a common idea, a unifying 
notion that for all the gadgetry and hardware, some 
things just won’t change. It shouldn’t be a radical notion, 
but it’s one that Gerry Anderson alone seemed to really 
take on board. Of course, there are lots of things missing 




from the series - there’s nothing like the internet, there 
are no digital media, there is no hint of climate change 
- and the race and gender politics is at times very dated, 
although no more so than in any other series from the 
same timeframe. 

But the central triumph is that Anderson created a 
future you could believe in, rather than some idealised 
daydream of starships and warp drives. Even the world 
of Captain Scarlet, overshadowed by the ultimate War 
on Terror, is fundamentally our own. Apart from the 
Mysterons threatening to blow up stuff or assassinate 
people, life goes on for most people - as it does in ours. 
Much the same applied to Thunderbirds: unless you 
were caught up in the disaster of the week, the world 
of the Tracy brothers seemed a fairly liveable place, 
especially if you were stupidly wealthy and could afford 
to hang out in Monaco. 

Thunderbirds is coming back, of course - this time it’s 
Thunderbirds are Go! - and while I’m quite indecently 
excited at the prospect (can you tell I’m a die-hard 
Anderson fan?), 1 also hope that the new series doesn’t 
stray too far from the spirit of the old. I’m not talking 
about puppets versus GGl, or whether the new vehicles 
look better or worse than the old - 1 mean the setting, 
the larger world in which the action takes place. 1 want 
that same sense of continuity with the present, looking 
forward but also acknowledging that the future will be 
just like now, only with more stuff. Anderson got that 
splendidly right in the Sixties, and by the time 1 came 
to his shows in the early Seventies - via battered old 
Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet annuals. Dinky toys 
and the occasional blink-and-you’ve-missed-it TV 
re-run - it made the 21st Gentury seem exciting. 1 

wanted to live long enough to see 
Gerry’s world. 

Now, it seems 1 have. 



Poseidon ’s Wake by Alastair 
Reynolds will be available to buy in 
hardback for £18.99 and eBook for 
£9.99 from 30 April, and is published 
byGollancz. 




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DGtailS Writer: The Original Writer Artists: Alan Davis, John Ridgeway 
and more Publisher: Marvel/Panini Price: £16.99 Released: Out now 



MIRAGLEMAN: THE 
RED KING SYNDROME 



The Reign of the 
Superman 

The debut superhero deconstruction 
from Alan Moore enters its second phase 
and loses its focus. While the first arc 
dealt with beer-gut no-mark Michael 
Moran discovering lost memories of 
being an ersatz Superman, The Red 
King Syndrome centres on the return of 
Nazi scientist Doctor Gargunza and the 
battle for Miracleman’s unborn son. 

Moore (a man who hates other 
people repeating his work) sticks 
Miracleman into a dream world that 
prefigures For The Man Who Has 
Everything, but this metatextual 
commentary on Fifties superhero 
comics is offset by the clumsy black 
caricature of government fixer Mr 
Cream, whose allusions to the racial 
tension in Thatcher’s Britain are offset 
by conforming to reductive archetypes. 

If the legal history is complex, the 
publication history isn’t a great deal 
better, and The Red King Syndrome 
covers the end of the original Warrior 
run on the strip, picking up the story 
again with Miracleman #5-10. 

The larger magazine-sized pages 
of Warrior seem more intricate when 
scaled down, while the colourisation 
from black and white left deep pits of 
shadow that suited the oppressive tone 
conjured by Moore’s nail-worrying 
world view. Once the pages started being 




drawn for US format and drawn for 
colour, that incidental angst evaporated. 

The art duties change hands too, 
with Chuck Austen taking over regular 
duties, but Warrior pros Alan Davis 
and John Ridgeway remain king in this 
volume, with the only seam being the 
latter’s leery quality bringing genuine 
disquiet to every panel. 

James Hoare 

VERDICT ★★ 



IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



Astro City: Life in The Big City 
Kurt Busiek/Aiex Ross 
The perfect antidote to the 
deconstruction, as Busiek and 
Ross return the ‘wow’ to the genre. 





Details Writers: Dan Slott, Christos Gage Artists: Various 
Publisher: Marvel/Panini Price: £10.99 Released: Out now 



AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: 
SPIDER-VERSE PRELUDE 

Along came some spiders 



Marvel are great at cross-time 
capers and shameless fan service. 

If you shot your own secret 
blend of web fluid at the return of 
Spider-Man 2099’s Miguel O’Hara 
in Superior Spider-Man and felt 
cheated by Elseworlds versions 
of Superman and Batman in DC’s 
2007 idiot-fest Countdown: Area, 
Spider-Verse promises to be your 
Second Coming. 

Spider totem-hunting Morlun 
and his mystical spider-hunting 
family are now rampaging across 
the Multiverse, feasting on 
forgotten one-shot Spider-Men 
of Whatlfls past, while Superior 
Spider-Man is assembling a hit- 
squad to stop him. 

From Peter Parquagh to 
Mayday Parker and the affable 



Pavitr Prabhakar, there’s plenty of 
gleeful dusting down of Marvel’s 
throwaway concepts, and frankly 
it’s all tremendously good fun. 

James Hoare 

VERDICT ★★★★ 




Details Writers: Craig Kyle, Chris Yost Artists: Carlo Barberi, Ed McGuinness 
Publisher: Marvel/Panini Price: £12.99 Released: Gut now 



AMAZNGX-MEN: 

WDRLDWARWENDIGD 



Maul of the wild 

It may be set against the 
backdrop of Logan’s impending 
death, but Amazing X-Men won't 
let anything get in the way of a 
good romp - this is the team that 
reunites Amazing Friends duo 
Firestar and Iceman, after all. 

World War Wendigo takes 
Logan back to Canada to face the 
third party in his debut Incredible 
Hulk #180 (197x) grudge-match 
- the flesh-eating horror of First 
Nations mythology, the Wendigo. 

The book is swarming with 
Wendigo, as well as his old 
running mates in superteam 
Alpha Flight. Strangely though, 
the most touching bits of 
character development come 
from reuniting X-Man Northstar 
with his Alpha Flight twin Aurora, 



with the exchange underlining just 
how far he’s come - and just how 
far the rest of the Major Mapleleaf 
brigade haven’t. 

James Hoare 

VERDICT ★★★ 




098 SdFflOW 



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REVIEWS GRAPHIC NOVELS 



Details Writer: Frederik Peeters Artist: Frederik Peeters 
Publisher: SelfMadeFlero Price: £10.99 Released: Out now 



AAMA 3: THE DESERT ^ 
OF MIRRORS ^ 



If Volume 2 was Prometheus as 
envisaged by Hayao Miyazaki, 
then Volume 3 is how his take on 
2001: A Space Odyssey would 
have looked. 

As their constantly evolving 
alien landscape grows stranger 
and stranger, answers finally 
begin to materialise, but their 
delivery is torn straight from the 
white-room sequences in Stanley 
Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke’s sci- 
fi masterpiece. 

Events in the first volume are 
finally brought full circle as Verloc 
gets to the roots of his troubled 
relationship with his aloof and 
obsessive brother Conrad, the 
mysterious star child who is 
the spitting image of Verloc’s 
estranged child breaks the silence, 
and the narrative reaches the 



‘present’, where the series opened 
with its amnesiac protagonist and 
bare-legged ape-shaped robot. 

The future, it seems, is yet to 
be written. 

James Hoare 

VERDICT ★★★★ 




Details Writer: Cullen Bunn Artist: Gabriel Flernandez Walter 
Publisher: Marvel/Panini Price: £12.99 Released: Cut now 



MAGNETO: 

REVERSALS 

They saved Xavier’s brain 

Very much ideal for fans of that 
brief sequence in X-Men: First 
C/ass where Erik is hunting down 
Nazis, Magneto’s powers may 
have taken a hit (something 
something Phoenix Force), but his 
dedication to the cause is fiercer 
as he takes the fight to Red Skull, 
who has harnessed the power 
of Charles Xavier’s dead grey 
matter in order to build an all-new 
mutant-hating super-Reich. 

Part of the story (the very 
beginning and the entire middle) 
takes place over in Uncanny 
Avengers, so the escalation is 
disorientating. All of a sudden Red 
Skull is channelling obscenely 
powerful Cnslaught and letting 
loose a host of Sentinels to 
fight the world’s superheroes. 




while Magneto has somehow 
encouraged Doctor Doom, 
Carnage and assorted other 
supervillains to join the fight. Also, 
Deadpool because??? 

Artists Gabriel Hernandez 
Walta and Javier Fernandez may 
have introduced a more squat, 
pugnacious Erik than we’re used 
to, an outsider on the edge, 
capable of who knows what? 
James Hoare 

VERDICT ★★ 



OGtailS Writer: Charles Soule Artist: Steve McNiven 
Publisher: Marvel/Panini Price: £8.66 Released: Cut now 

DEATH OF WOLVERINE 

Logan’s done 



Finally, after months of foreplay from 
Paul Cornell, the main event has arrived. 
Wolverine is going to die for good - well, 
for a bit. 

Best known for his powerful work 
on DC’s Swamp Thing, writer Charles 
Soule has made an uneven impression 
on Marvel. There’s the fan-pleasing 
Thunderbolts, the genre-defying 
She-Hulk and then there’s absolutely 
abysmal Inhuman, so sunny optimism 
isn’t unwarranted, but it should be 
definitely tempered with dark clouds 
of caution. 

That, it transpires, is the correct 
stance. Cn the one hand. Death Of 
Wolverine returns to some classic 
Logan-centric storylines - the Weapon-X 
Project, his marriage to Viper and, 
perhaps most excitingly, body-hopping 
demonic sensei Cgun from the 
profoundly underrated Kitty Pryde And 
Wolverine miniseries. It’s great fun, but 
that’s pretty much all the character has 
been doing for the last couple of years 
(see Astonishing X-Men on the facing 
page). Soule does a fine job of setting 
up this final confrontation with all jaw- 
setting doing-what-needs-to-be-done of 
a Seventies movie cop on one last job, 
and this is echoed perfectly by Steve 
McNiven’s art. 

With Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan 
and Ed Brubaker’s Captain America in 
his sketch pad, McNiven is dab hand at 
ageing wardogs making stubborn points 
of principle, and his considered lines add 
weight to the events. His subtle redesign 





of Nuke alone deserves a shout-out, 
retaining his psychotic menace while 
evoking washed up, fading wrestlers. 

If the art and the concept are worthy 
of being held up alongside the iconic 
Logan story arcs, than the awkward 
payoff - the final scene in particular 
- may well see it propelled into the 
opposite end of the canon, sitting 
shame-faced next to feral bandana 
mid-Nineties Wolverine and X-23’s vile 
self-harming teen prostitute origin story. 
James Hoare 

VERDICT ★★★ 



IF YOU LIKE THIS TRY... 



Wolverine: Enemy Of 
The State -Vol 2 
Mark Millar/John Romita Jr 
Logan’s faced his fate before with 
a more satisfying climax. 





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COMICS FEATURE 





SUPERMAN REDRAWN 

Legendary comic artist John Romita Jr reflects on his first year drawing 
Superman, talks new powers and costumes, and looks ahead to his visit 

to the London Super Comic Con WORDS CHRIS ANDERSON 



I f you follow his adventures in the 
comics, you’ll know that Superman 
has had an eventful few months. One 
of the big talking points recently was 
Superman #38, on sale last month, which 
saw him unleash a new power that he 
did not realise he had on unsuspecting 
antagonist Ulysses. This reveal was 
followed by him donning a new costume 
- a tweaked version of the New 52 threads - 
and a major change in his relationship with 
pal Jimmy Olsen. 

The issue was the final part of a story 
by superstar DC writer Geoff Johns and 
artist John Romita Jr, best known for his 
extensive work at Marvel, dating back to the 
Seventies. It could be said that Marvel was 
in his blood, with his father, John Romita 
Sr, the first artist to take over from Steve 
Ditko on The Amazing Spider-Man under 
Stan Lee. In later years, Romita Jr (who 
refers to himself as JRJR) forged his own 
relationship with the character, perhaps 
most famously in the December 2001 issue, 
where Spider-Man deals with the fallout of 
the September 11 attacks. 

But Romita Jr has drawn just about every 
Marvel character there is, including the 
Kick-Ass series with writer Mark Millar. 

As the recent events in Superman prove, 
sometimes you need to shake things up, 
and when an opportunity to move to DC 
came along, working with Geoff Johns and 
inker Klaus Janson on such an iconic hero, 
it seemed like a change that was needed. It 
looks like it paid off too, as Romita Jr will no 
doubt reveal when he visits the UK for the 
London Super Comic Con this month. 

You’ve been drawing Superman for 
almost a year now. How have you found it? 

The whole process has been a lot of fun, 
and the editors and Geoff Johns have been 
a great pleasure to work with. What 1 had 
been concerned with, regarding the change 
in characters and the two companies, 

1 thought it would be much more 
tumultuous, it wasn’t. . . it was basically 
just a change in the type of costume 1 was 
drawing, and wasn’t as big a move as 1 
expected. 1 still got to do the same thing I’d 
been doing for the last 35 years. 

It must have been strange switching 
companies after that time... 



How it happened, 1 was interested in doing 
creator-owned properties at Marvel, similar 
to Kick-Ass, as 1 didn’t want to just stick 
with the mainstream work. So 1 talked to 
them about it, but then my contract expired 
and we were having discussions back 
and forth. DC got in touch, and my wife, 
Kathy, had always been interested in me 
working there because she wanted to see 
the difference, and even my father signed 
off on it. He said, “Hey, don’t just carry on 
working for Marvel, do what is best for 
you.” A lot of other people were supportive, 
and while 1 wanted something new, 1 hadn’t 
really planned on changing companies; it 
just happened. But I’m very happy, and I’m 
thrilled to be doing Superman. 

How did it feel to draw the character first 
of all? He’s been around for over 75 years... 

I actually had a little bit of an anxiety attack 
the first time 1 did it, saying to myself, “1 
am drawing the oldest and most revered 
superhero in comics - there are so many 
guys who have done this before me. What 
am 1 going to do?” But literally the moment 
1 first drew the cape, 1 thought, “Wait a 

THE CHANGES ARE 
PREnV MINIMAL, AS IT’S 
SO ICONIC THERE ISN’T A 
LOT YOU CAN DO 

lOMIIIMinil 




minute. I’ve drawn a character with a cape 
before, this is kind of cool.” So 1 felt a lot 
more comfortable. And the way you handle 
the character is not dissimilar to the way 
you might handle Thor, in terms of his 
power. Then it was just a matter of getting 
the jawline and the hair right. 

You’ve drawn DC characters before, 
though - at Marvel you drew the cover 
for a DC/Marvel Crossover Classics trade 
paperback, and there was the Batman Vs 
Punisher special. . . 

That’s correct, and that’s why I always 
imagined 1 would do Batman again at some 
point, but instead I’m doing Superman, the 
very character that 1 didn’t care for several 
years ago because 1 thought he was just 
too perfect. But 1 found the ideas that Geoff 
[Johns] had were amazing. 

They all seemed to come to fruition in 
Superman #38 with the new 'Super Flare’ 
power and the costume changes. Were 
you part of all that? 

The editors of the Superman books had 
been talking about it for a while and 
asking, “Couldn’t we do something with 
Superman’s powers, maybe show another 
side to them, something that manifests? It’s 
not something we’ve shaken up in a while.” 
So myself, Greg Pak, Gene Luen Yang, 
Aaron Kuder and Pete Tomasi threw a few 
ideas around, and along with Geoff [Johns] 
came up with an extension of his regular 
abilities [the flare is a powerful blast caused 
by Superman expelling all of the solar 
energy from his cells at once, discovered by 
accident]. The fact that it happened in the 
first story arc 1 worked on was pure luck on 
my side, but it’ll play into all of the other 
books. His costume got destroyed by that, 
so he makes a new one with a few tweaks. 
The changes are pretty minimal, as it’s so 
iconic there isn’t a lot you can do. We just 
wanted to freshen it a little, and we did it at 
a point when the old one was damaged, so it 
makes sense. 

This is a power that also weakens 
Superman after he uses it - no more solar 
energy means he is basically mortal for 24 
hours until he recharges... 

That’s right. And it’s Batman who tells 
him this when he wakes up in the Batcave, 



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^ which means I got to do a brief but vital 
appearance of a character I really wanted to 
draw again. That was very exciting, but it 
can be daunting to draw all of the Batcave. 

YouTl have other DC characters to draw 
soon, as Superman will be testing his new 
power against the Justice League in an 
issue you’re writing. Is that correct? 

He will be trying it out against the Justice 
League, yes. 1 know the basic idea for that 
issue, but not specifically which characters 
will be in it. At this stage, it’s an idea we 
are still developing. That’s #40, and I’m 
just finishing up #39 right now. But those 
two issues are the bridge to our next big 
story arc, and there will be repercussions 
from the changes we’ve introduced. A big 
change is coming up with Clark Kent/ 
Superman, but 1 can’t tell you about that 
yet. I’m plotting #40, 1 know that, and as far 
as doing the dialogue goes I’ll see how the 
time works out. 

That’s the other recent announcement, 
of course, that Geoff Johns is leaving the 
book, to be replaced by Gene Luen Yang. 
What will he bring to the character? 

I can’t tell you, 1 have to keep my mouth 
shut [laughs]. All 1 will say is that the 
storyline covering all of the Superman 
books is in great hands. 1 just sit back and 
draw whatever they give me. 

Are you upset about Geoff leaving? He has 
so many film and TV commitments, it 
must be hard for him to write comics... 

These guys taking off for Hollywood, how 
can he choose [laughs]? 1 think he is still 
writing Justice League, though. 

Working with him, did he ever tell you 
about what he had coming up? Did 
he show you the script for Batman v 
Superman: Dawn Of Justice, for example? 

He didn’t, but I’m really looking forward to 
that. I think Ben Affleck is a hell of an actor. 



The best ot 

johnRomitaw 

TheftmaiingSP'**®''’**® 

Mo1230-58(200V03) 

withBaby/onScre^ojJ 

Straczynskiyears ate^reat ^ 

new life into him. 



V 



IT’S A GENRE THAT 
HAS LONGEVITY, 
ANDIFYOUHAV^ 
IDEAS... YOU CAN 
MAKE IT HAPPEN 

JOHNROMITAJR 




The artist is excited at 
what’s ahead for the iikes 
of Spider-Man. 



I think he’ll pull it off. And honestly, people 
are asking me now, “How can it be Batman 
against Superman? Superman is going to 
tear his head off!” And I say, “You’ve got to 
watch it.” 

You must be excited about the Marvel/ 
Sony deal too, allowing Spider-Man to star 
in some of the Marvel movies, considering 
your history with the character... 

Yes, they are connecting Spider-Man to the 
rest of the Marvel universe onscreen, and I 
think that’s great. I’m very happy for them. 
The fans have been waiting for that for a 
long time. Every superhero and comic-book 
has the ability to work well as a movie, 
and when it does then that’s good for all 
of us. It’s a genre that has longevity, and 
if you have ideas, the creative talent and 
the stories, you can make it happen as live 
action. It’s something here for the long haul. 

Wasn’t Spider-Man your introduction to 
comics? When your father was drawing it, 
didn’t you design a character, the Prowler, 
for him? 



I came up with the name, but the costume I 
designed was so awful. Even Stan Lee in his 
pleasantness said [adopts Stan voice], “Hate 
the costume, love the name.” So they kept 
the name, and he looked nothing like the 
version I did, but they did give me credit for 
it when I was 13. 

One of your great Spider-Man stories 
was the 9/11 issue, addressing how the 
character felt about that happening in 
his city. Is it one that still resonates 
with you? 

Yeah, it does. I have a hard time. . . honestly, 

I haven’t even opened up that issue since 
about 2002. 1 can’t look at it. I have the 
original artwork in my safe here and I don’t 
know what I’m going to do with it. Maybe 
one day I’ll donate it, perhaps to a 9/11 
charity. But I don’t know what to do with 
the artwork. I’m holding onto it. I’ve been 
offered amazing amounts of money for 
it, I can’t conceive of selling it for a profit 
unless it’s for an emergency, I don’t know, I 
honestly don’t know. But I can’t look at it. . . 
it breaks me up. 




Romita Jr has gained an 
even wider audience via 
his work on Kick-Ass. 



He has aiso presided over 
some interesting new 
changes to Superman. 



102 I sdFUlow 



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Wolverine: Enemy of 
the Stete (2004) 

Writer Mark Millar teamed Uf 
RomitaJrforal2-issueru 
where the charad 
.brainwashed and senttok 

Marvel characters. 



John Romita Jr will be appearing at the 
London Super Comic Con from March 14-15 
at the Excel Centre, London. For ticket info, 
seewww.londonsupercomicconvention. 
com. Superman is published monthly by 
DC Comics - visit www.dccomics.com for 
more information. 



And at DC, is the plan to stick with 
Superman^ or will there be other projects? 

1 don’t know. 1 know what 1 want to do, 
but what they allow me to do or embrace, 
we’ll see what happens. There are a certain 
amount of issues that 1 intended to do on 
Superman, and 1 have about another year 
of those. 1 have couple of ideas I’d like to 
try, but I’d also like to stick with a regular 
monthly. Whatever keeps the guy writing 
the cheques happy [laughs]. iZr 



But you’re coming to the UK in March for 
the London Super Comic Con... 

1 am. I’m really looking forward to it. 
London is my favourite city in the world 
after New York, and I’ll be walking around, 
seeing some friends after the convention. . . 



Romita Jr’s work seems to 
have encompassed most of 
comics’ major characters. 



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The aliens are here- 
And they want to help- 




'The freshest take on first contact and interstellar exploration in 
many yearsi and almost feels like the seed for an entire new subgenre' 

Alastair Reynolds author of Revelation Space 



Out now in trade paperback and e-book 




*0ffer valid from all UK e-tailers until the Eb-DE-lS 



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Suspiria Nightbreed rA?e\ g^Giant 1\mn Peaks 



AARCH 1994 

IMAGINE PUBLISHING LTD 




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ARE YOU AS ALL- 
KNOWING AS THE 
LOG LADY? 126 





RETRO CLASSI- 

"LIKE SUPERMAN" 

EXPERIENCE JOY AND 
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FLASHBACK 

CLIVE BARKER'S 
NIGHTBREED 

THE MAKING OF THE 
CULT HIT 122 






THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO 

DARIO 

ARGENTO 



THE VISCONTI OF VIOLENCE HAS BEEN AN ITALIAN HORROR INSTITUTION 
FOR OVER FOUR DECADES. THE 'LAST MAN STANDING' OF A COUNTRY 
THAT ONCE LED THE WORLD IN FEAR-FILMMAKING, WE HEAR FROM THE 
MAN HIMSELF AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES HOW HE DID IT. . . 

WORDS CALUM WADDELL 



Dario Argento remains many things to many 
people: a splatter-hack, maestro of the 
macabre, disgraced former genius and maybe 
even one of the most mesmerising mavericks 
of world cinema. Regardless, one thing is for 
sure: he is the sole voice remaining from the 
golden age of Italian horror films. Indeed, from 
the Sixties through to the mid Eighties, Italy was 
producing a plethora of crimson-caked classics 
that baited censors and attracted a fervent fan 
following. Following in the footsteps of Mario 
Bava, who instigated the trend for complex 
giallo shockers with The Girl Who Knew Too 
Much (1 963), Argento became the trend's most 
commercial name. 

The son of the late movie producer Salvatore 
Argento, who oversaw his son's explosive debut The 
Bird With The Crystal Plumage (1970) and many of 
his subsequent affairs, the protege had a privileged 
upbringing. Furthermore, with a photographer mother, 
Elda Luxardo, who snapped some of Rome's top 
celebrities, Argento Jr was clearly not going to be taking 
on a 9-5 desk job anytime soon. Hobnobbing with the 
rich and famous, he was soon obtaining work as a film 
critic. Before long, he was employed as a scriptwriter for 
some of the country's most prolific talent. 

"I think of Dario Argento as my pupil," begins 
Umberto Lenzi, who raised his own profile with such 



gut-crunchers as 1981 's Cannibal Ferox. "He wrote my 
movie Battle Of The Commandos W\\U Jack Balance, a 
war picture which was released in 1 969. And then later 
on, he came to my set to watch me film a giallo I was 
making entitled Orgosmo - one of my best movies. 

He said he wanted to observe. Then, one year later, he 
makes The Bird With The Crystal Plumage. So if anyone 
asks me, I tell them that I may have been Dario's 
biggest influence!" 

Yet, by this time Argento was already aiming above 
the B-movie budgets and sleazy set pieces that kept his 
slightly older contemporaries pigeonholed as auteurs of 
cheap and cheerful carnage. Having collaborated with 
future arthouse darling Bernardo Bertolucci to co-write 
Sergio Leone's classic Once Upon A Time In The West 
(1 968), Argento had already been exposed to the 
Italian A-list. This doubtless helped with the lavish funds 
afforded to him for his own directorial debut in 1 970. 

"When we released The Bird With The Crystal 
Plumage in America, it was number one at the box 
office for two weeks," begins Argento. "No one 
expected it to be that successful, but it was a big hit 
right away, and it played to large crowds everywhere, 
including in Italy. I think part of its appeal was that it 
had a new style. It was different from what Mario Bava 
had done, which was always a little more reserved. The 
Bird With The Crystal Plumage started a genre of its 
own that the public now recognised as the giallo." 



The word 'giallo' translates as 'yellow' in Italy (the 
covers of Agatha Christie novels, for instance, were 
awarded this colour to stand out on the country's 
bookstands). After this, Argento scored an even 
bigger hit with Cot O'Nine Toils (1971), which starred 
Oscar winner Karl Malden and became one of the 
biggest box-office draws of its year. In the wake of this 
classy cash-grabber, the director - with his ever-loyal 
producer-father - rushed out a third 'animal-themed' 
opus with Four Flies On Grey Velvet. 

"By the time he got to his third movie, Dario felt 
under a lot of pressure to do something fresh," states 
Luigi Cozzi, the screenwriter of Four Flies On Grey 
Velvet. "The giallo was starting to become popular 
because young people were lining up to see the 
creative deaths, and Lucio Fulci and Sergio Martino 
were coming to prominence with their own versions. 

So now Dario felt that he had to top The Bird With The 
Crystal Plumage and Cot O' Nine Toils, which were not 
so violent, with Four Flies On Grey Velvet. This is why 
we ended our picture with a graphic decapitation, and 
the audience loved it. Now, the other directors felt they 
had to increase the blood and violence even further, 
so the giallo was quickly becoming a new form of 
horror cinema." 

Later, Argento branched out to co-write another 
western, Mon Colled Amen (1 972) and helm his rarely 
seen period comedy. The Five Days Of Milan (1 973). 



106 I 



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COMPLETE GUIDE TO 

DARIO ARGENTO 




TOP 10 DARIO ARGENTO FILMS 



We recommend that you remember the good times with this 
essential list of his finest fear achievements... 



2. CAT O' NINE TAILS (1971) 

A blind man (Karl Malden) and an American reporter (James 
Franciscus) attempt to solve a series of murders. Argento 
describes Cat O' Nine Tails as one of his lesser films. We 
disagree v^ith that; Cat O' Nine Tails is definitely v^orth 
your time. I 



3. FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET 

0971 ) 

This conclusion to Argento's animal trilogy introduces an 
American musician (Michael Brandon) who accidentally stabs 
a masked man in self-defence. But photographs taken of the 
scuffle lead to a stalker who is closer to home than he thinks. 



1 . THE BIRD WITH THE 
YSTAL PLUMAGE (1970) 

A young American artist witnesses a black-gloved killer 
attempting to slay a young woman in a Rome art gallery. 
Chaos ensues. A finely tuned thriller with lashings of style, The 
Bird With The Crystal Plumage remains one of Argento's best. 



6. INFERNO (1980) 

Not quite Suspiria, but almost as beautiful, this multi-coloured 
fairy tale of a witch's coven in Manhattan is perhaps second 
only to James Whale's Bride Of Frankenstein as outstanding 
horror sequels go. Just don't waste your time watching its 
prologue; Mother Of Tears is not worth your time. 



4. DEEP RED (1975) 

Argento's giallo masterpiece, David Hemmings is yet another 
expat character in Italy (this time Turin) who sees a murder and 
becomes obsessed with locating the culprit. Edge-of-the-seat 
tension and stunning widescreen cinematography make this a 
terror tour de force. 



5. SUSPIRIA (1977) 

Arguably every bit as visually accomplished and ambitious 
as anything his compatriots Antonioni and Fellini achieved, 
Suspiria is a horror art-rock-opera that throws logic to the wind 
in favour of sheer style. It's one of Argento's leading - and 
most loved - works. 



7. TENEBRAE (1982) 

Real life mimics art in this multi-layered 
slice of giallo genius, which depicts a trashy 
author becoming sucked into a series of 
femme-filleting murders. The final, shocking 
revelation, however, is what makes Tenebrae 
so special. 



8. PHENOMENA (1 985) 9. OPERA (1 987) 

A notable drop in quality from Tenebrae, but Stylistically, Opera rivals both Deep Red and 

Phenomena still provides plenty of beautiful Tenebrae, but the cheap gore takes some of 

visuals and a few good, sharp shocks. the class away from this otherwise brilliant 

Jennifer Connolly, as a young rich girl with giallo nightmare. It's also one of his last great 

insect-stimulating powers, is one of Argento's works before he took a catastrophic nose-dive 

worthiest heroines. in quality in the Nineties. 



10. TRAUMA (1993) 

All but the most curious can probably refrain 
from delving into the Argento canon beyond 
Trauma. Flawed but still well above average, 
this American-produced giallo walks a thin line 
between tacky and terrific, but generally veers 
more towards the latter. 



108 I 



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DARIO ARGENTO 

COMPLETE GUIDE 



While the latter failed at the Italian box office, Argento 
maintained some genre status by producing his Door 
Info Dor/cness television series, and ultimately opted 
to return to the safety of the giallo format with 1 975's 
Deep Red. 

"Originally, Four Flies On Grey Velvet was going to 
start with a psychic medium that identifies a murderer 
in the audience," reveals Cozzi. "However, Dario felt, 
at that time, this would make the movie a little too 
supernatural. With Deep Red, though, he decided that 
not everything had to be totally logical in his films. 
Instead, he could play with the audience and try and 
evolve the entire genre by making the unexplainable 
interesting and exciting. In my opinion. Deep Redls his 
masterpiece. It changed everything and led to Suspirio, 
which has very little logic at all." 

At this stage, a pattern was being set by the 
new Italian maestro of the macabre: wealthy male 
characters were, typically, placed in a scenario of abject 




threat and hunted by a bloodthirsty personality wearing 
black leather gloves. With Deep Red, the casting of 
Hammings continued this trope. However, the addition 
of actress Dario Nicolodi as a curious journalist 
provided Argento with a further muse. Indeed, Nicolodi 
would go on to play a central part in the director's 
canon over the next decade, becoming his wife and the 
mother of his daughter, Asia. She would also, without 
credit, write the script for 1 977's Suspirio, the film 
that, more than any other, established its creator as an 
international, and influential, genre artist. 

"Whenever I start a new project, I know that Suspirio 
is the one I have to try and beat," admits Argento. "We 
shot the film in Technicolor, and even travelled to West 
Germany for some scenes. I wanted the movie to look 
hot, so the colours are very extreme. I took the same 
approach for the sequel to Suspirio, Inferno, which was 
also about a coven of witches. With Inferno I went back 
to having a male hero, but Suspirio was my first time 




presenting a female lead, and I think Jessica Harper, 
as the ballet student Suzy Bannion, remains one of my 
favourite characters." 

Despite a sub-par theatrical fling in the US 
and a heavily censored UK bow, Sasp/r/b further 
cemented Argento as a legitimate auteur. While his 
contemporaries such as Fulci and Lenzi were dismissed 
(however unfairly) as purveyors of sleaze, the man 
who made Deep Red and Suspirio was instead hailed 
as a genius - even if his splatter-drenched set pieces 
continued to bemuse those who detested horror. In 
addition, with 1 980's follow-up Inferno, Argento's 
success continued. Unfortunately, distribution problems 
plagued its success. 

"I think Inferno was too intellectual for American 
people," laughs Argento. "It had an enigma about 
it which I think they failed to grasp at the time. It was a 
difficult film for the original American distributor, 20th 
Century Fox, too. I remember seeing the film with the 
president of the studio, and he told me that he did not 
understand it. He actually said to me, 'I do not get the 
point of this movie, and I will not release it.' For this 
reason it never came out in the cinemas in America, 
but it was successful all over Europe, so I did not mind 
too much." 

During this time in his life, Argento was more prolific 
and respected than ever. Acting as the (behind-the- 
scenes) European producer of George Romero's Down 
Of The Deod (1 978), and successfully overseeing its 
release in Rome, he paved the way for future ventures 
such as Lamberto Bava's Demons (1985) and Demons 
2 (1 986). In the meantime, a return to the giallo with 
Tenebrae (1 982) saw Argento answer accusations of 
misogyny (Suspirio opens with the graphic double- 
death of two young female students) with a reflexive 
plot about a pulp book author who may or may not be 
involved in slaying a number of beautiful women. 



"WHENEVER 
I START A 
NEW PROJECT, 
SUSPIRIA IS THE 
ONE I HAVE TO 
TRY AND BEAT" 



DARIO ARGENTO 







COMPLEl 

DARIO ARGENTO 



"I don't see any misogyny in my work/' says the 
director. "When someone dies in these films it is just 
fake blood - be it a man or a woman, it is the just same 
to me. It is insane, because women commonly say to 
me that I am like an artist in regards to how I film them, 
but men say 'you are a misogynist.' It is always men 
telling me this [laughs]. I tell them no - they are wrong: 
it's just a scene in a movie. If a murderer kills a woman 
in my films it is because it is natural to them, they are 
maybe born like this, but it is not me personally. That is 
why I made Tenebrae." 

Tenebroe plays with the theatrics of horror cinema 
and satirises both Freudian psychoanalysis (a favourite 
of the maestro) and postmodern feminism with a 
garish, gruesome relish. Clever and darkly comic, 
Tenebroe closes the golden age of Argento's work: had 
he never made another movie, there is a good chance 
that the Italian eccentric would have gone down as the 
one of the greatest European filmmakers of his time. 
Unfortunately, a slow downward spiral begun with 
1 985's Phenomena. 

If Deep Red and Suspirio represented the beginning 
of a less linear approach to storytelling then they at least 
maintained their on-screen credibility through engaging 
characters and scenarios. Unfortunately, Phenomena 
all too frequently replaces slow-building stylisation, 
operatic ambition and colourful aplomb with gruelling 
gore, erroneous exposition and slasher-film silliness. 

"OPERA IS STRONG 
AND ONE OF MY 
MOST UNDERRATED 
PROJECTS" 

DARIO ARGENTO 

The same is true of 1 987's Opera, a beautifully realised 
giallo that highlights some mind-melting camera 
callisthenics, but comes undone with some especially 
cruel slice-and-dice nastiness. Despite this. Opera 
feels like a last hurrah of sorts. A surprise Christmas 
flop in Italy, Argento would take his talents to America 
for Two Evil Eyes (1 990), an acceptable Edgar Alan 
Poe collaboration with George Romero, and Trauma 
(1993), an above-average English-language thriller 
that nonetheless lacked the epic esotericism and eye- 
opening insanity of Opera. 

In truth, Argento's decline can possibly be 
attributed to the departure of Nicolodi - whose often 
unmentioned role in script development and casting 
continued through to Opera. 

"I was so sad when I shot Opera," reveals Argento. 

"It was a terrible time for me because of the break-up 
with Daria, and when I finished the film I was very 
depressed. I don't know if the movie was the main 
problem - but it was a really important moment in my 
professional career. It was my last movie in Italy for a 
little while, too. I do feel that Opera is a very strong film 
and one of my most underrated projects." 

With Trauma sinking straight to video, things 
began to change. Rarely would an Argento release 
feature such trademarks as extravagant, multi-coloured 
moments of intense terror, blinding sets and costumes. 



E GUIDE TO 






Some see Phenomena as the point where 
Argento's movies took a dip in quality. 




swooping crane and dolly shots and imaginatively 
mounted widescreen cinematography. Initiating with 
The Stendhal Syndrome (1 996) - peddling a pedestrian 
TV-movie like aesthetic, grim but powerless moments 
of sanguine-splashed boredom and stories that built 
to inconsequential conclusions. In retrospect, it doesn't 
look nearly as bad as it did at the time, at least 
offering a memorable Ennio Morricone score and 
a decent first half, in which police inspector - and 
art-phobic - Asia Argento tracks a rapist murderer 
across Florence. However, the way in which the director 
films his daughter being sexually harassed becomes 
downright creepy, and the flat visuals never indicate 
that this is the same man who once hit such heights 
as Suspirio. 

"I stand by The Stendhal Syndrome," says Argento. 

"I am aware that my fans were not so fond of it when it 
first came out. But even if they don't like The Stendhal 
Syndrome, I do - and that is what is important. I 
worked around some great architecture and paintings 
on that picture. It is a movie that is heavily influenced 
by my love of art, and it was a very good experience 
to make with my daughter Asia. She is a great actress, 
and now she is known worldwide. It is such an honour 
whenever she appears on screen and the audience 
cheers for her." 

Unfortunately, The Stendhal Syndrome was so badly 
received that only Lloyd Kaufman's Troma would take 





no I 



www.scifinow.co.uk 





up its direct-to- video distribution in the USA. Perhaps 
the lowest point of Argento's career up until that point, 
things didn't improve. The death of his closest rival, 

Lucio Fulci, prevented their long-awaited collaboration, 
WoxMosk, from moving forward. A quickly produced 
directorial effort in The Phantom 
Of The Opera, once again reuniting father and 
daughter, emerged in 1 998, and proved to be 
another disappointment. 

"I think there is a continuation between the older 
films and projects such as The Stendhal Syndrome 
and The Phantom Of The Opera," insists the director. 

"I love opera - the music and the spectacle of it - and 
art and architecture and Freud. Most of my films are 
dedicated to the arts. It is the same with The Phantom 
Of The Opera. If you see my films you cannot miss how 
carefully I study the architecture and design of cities, for 
instance. These things are the blood of my films, and 
that has never changed." 

Thematically, Argento may believe that The Stendhal 
Syndrome and The Phantom Of The Opera honour 
the lineage of his genius, but the style had clearly 
changed, a factor made all the more evident by the 
flops that followed. Despite the great Max von Sydow 
signing on for 2001 's giallo jaunt Sleepless, the badly 
dubbed and overly unpleasant consequence was once 
again robbed of coherence and colour. The end result 
was yet another bomb. 







SUSPIRIA 
MEMORIES 

A0^ess Jessi'O. Hqcper^ 
r'^rnembers Argi^nto's 
finest 90 minutes. . . 

Suspiria is seen as one of best horror films of all 
time. Did you have any idea of the importance . 
and influence it would have? 

No, I did not [laughs]. What can I say? I was young back 
then and knew nothing. I did not even know who Dario 
Argento was. ■’ ' 

How did you come to be cast in Suspiria? 

Dario had seen me in Brian DePalma's Phantom Of 
The Paradise, and he had enjoyed my performance. 

As far as I recall, that was how I ended up meeting him 
and how he ended up asking me to be Suzy Bannion 
in Suspiria. Dario was very passionate, and I loved the 
idea of doing this interesting project in Italy. It was very 
exciting, and I knew right away I was going to accept 
the part. 

Are the rumours true that he would play the 
Goblin theme song during rehearsals in order 
to unnerve the cast members before shooting? 

I honestly don't remember, but it certainly makes for a 
good rumour, doesn't it? [laughs] I don't think anyone 
was unnerved on the set, though. We were just there to 
make a creepy horror movie, and the cast got along 
very well - although I can tell you that the shoot for 
Suspiria y/as consistently interesting. I loved living in 
Rome for a short period of time and working with the 
Italian cast and crew. We also shot some of Suspiria 
in Munich, so I got to travel to Germany for the first 
time. That was great - all that travel was a big perk of 
doing the movie with Dario. I am always enthusiastic 
about getting to know another culture, and Suspiria 
provided that. 

What did you think when you first saw Suspiria? 

When you are in a movie, the experience of watching 
it - and yourself - is very odd, never mind something like 
Suspirio\ I appreciated Suspiria much more when I saw 
it years afterwards. By that time I was a little bit more 
objective, and I could look at it with a distance between 
what it was and the experience of making it. By then, I 
could see how amazing Suspiria really is. 

Were you offered roles in any of Dario Argento's 
other films? 

Nope, Dario never came calling again. I did perform 
in some other horrors after Suspiria, but they weren't 
so good, and let's just say that I don't like talking 
about them! 




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COMPLETE GUIDE TO 

DARIO ARGENTO 



"The Sfendhol Syndrome goes against the rules of 
the genre a bit/' opines Luigi Cozzi. "It is maybe a bit 
more dramatic and less about who the killer might be. 
So the anticipation for a new Dario Argento giallo, in 
the traditional sense, was not met. However, I think 
Sleepless was a better film - especially its opening, 
when a terrified woman is stalked on a train. I think that 
is a very strong sequence, and pure Argento. After that 
point though, the film starts to crumble and tries to be 
a little bit too much like Deep Red, but it never comes 
close. I think the characters are also a bit too weak, with 
only Max von Sydow really standing out." 

Argento would return to television for Do You Like 
Hitchcock? (2005), a harmless - but also thrill-less - 
small-screen homage to the Psycho filmmaker, and 
two episodes of the Mick Garris-produced Masters 
Of Horror series. The big news, however, was the 
conclusion of the surrealist and sublime 'Three Mothers' 
trilogy that began with Suspiria and continued with 
Inferno. In the prologue to Inferno, we are forewarned 
that the most threatening evil of all will come from 'The 
Mother of Tears', who resides in Rome. As such, when 
Argento confirmed that we would finally see the final 
instalment of his beloved franchise, fan excitement 
reached fever point. Unfortunately, trepidation was felt 
when Asia was confirmed to be returning to her father's 
forte and Adam Gierasch and Jace Anderson, writers 
of Tobe Hooper's Crocodile (2000) and Mortuary 
(2005), were announced as the pen-people behind the 
new adventure. 

Was it worth the three-decade wait? Well, no. Mother 
Of Tears (2007) marked a new nadir for Argento. 
Featuring a title character with large fake mammary 
glands, a ludicrous depiction of Armageddon, an 
all-seeing devilish chimpanzee (!) and tedium galore. 



the director's latest dud was one of the worst genre 
sequels in history. Most frustratingly, it refuses the eye- 
wateringly delicious colour palette that made Suspiria 
so outstanding: in its place is bland, bog-standard sub- 
SyFy Channel clumsiness. 

"The colours, acting and story are very different in 
Mother Of Tears, because I wanted all three episodes to 
be very unique," defends Argento. "The colour scheme 
is deliberately cooler in Mother Of Tears. It is a film 
I am glad I finally got to make. After I shot Inferno, I 
started to prepare the third and final episode of my 
' Three Mothers' series. But then I got caught up in the 
production of two other films, which took about four 
years, so Mother Of Tears got put on hold. It took many 
years before I started to study books on the occult and 



witchcraft again and get my enthusiasm back for this 
subject matter." 

For anyone else. Mother Of Tears may well have 
been the final nail in the veritable career coffin. Where 
once Argento was hailed as one of world cinema's most 
talented tenants, now he was lacerating his own legacy 
with what looked like the work of a jobbing amateur. 
Amazingly, then, his next venture was Giallo, starring 
Oscar winner Adrien Brody - and once again, the hope 
of a return to form was raised. 

"Giallo was the first time in my life that I have had 
to direct a script that I have had no input into," affirms 
Argento. "The script was already written, and I was 
brought in to make the movie. It was a slightly different 
experience for me. I prefer to write my own scripts, 
although I do not mind collaborating with others, as 




"I ENJOYED 
GIALLO BECAUSE 
I WAS WORKING 
WITH AN ACTOR 
AS GOOD AS 
ADRIEN BRODY" 

DARIO ARGENTO 




DARIO ARGENTO 

COMPLETE GUIDE 



I did on The Mother Of Tears. What I do not like is 
being shut out of the writing process entirely. But Giallo 
was a very interesting shoot. I enjoyed it because I was 
working with an actor as good as Adrien Brody." 

With Brody on double-duty (he portrays a woman- 
hating murderer, as well as a police detective), Giallo 
turned out to be a different kind of caper to what its 
moniker suggests. No mystery is involved; instead, 
Argento - with his now depressingly familiar muddy 
photography - goes the torture-porn route, with scenes 
of grimy gore and plenty of abused female victims. 
Interestingly, though, no amount of spilled blood can 
stop G/ 0//0 from turning into a laugh riot. Brody's 
hysterical performance compliments dialogue that 
is among cinema's all-time worst, causing plenty of 
unintentional laughs. Depressingly, then, G/ 0//0 turned 



out to be Argento's most entertaining film since Trauma 
- for all the wrong reasons. 

"Maybe my work is not so shocking anymore," he 
says. "The newer horror films that have been coming 
out in America are very violent - even more violent than 
my stuff. I think times have changed. I remember when 
I saw Hostel, I thought it was very gruesome, so maybe 
my films have just become tamer in comparison." 

Certainly, if the badly received Giallo couldn't 
impress his fans, Argento's last project to date also 
stood little chance. Announced at the 201 0 Cannes 
Film Festival, and premiering two years later, Droculo 
3D rivals Mother Of Tears as the former maverick's 
worst motion picture to date. Starring Rutger Hauer and 
staging another awful turn from Asia Argento, this loose 
adaptation attempts to pay homage to the Hammer 



films of old, but flounders under some terrible digital 
effects, uneventful storytelling and laughable gimmickry. 
The low point surely comes when Dracula (played by 
Thomas Kretschmann) mutates into a badly animated 
giant grasshopper. 

"You have to remember that Dario's success was 
constructed from the Seventies through to about the 
mid-Eighties," says Luigi Cozzi, who runs Argento's 
famous Profondo Rosso shop in Rome. "Each of his 
films introduced new ideas. Then, in the Nineties, 
these big ideas, apart from maybe some parts of The 
Stendhal Syndrome and Sleepless, became less fresh. 
But is that Dario's fault? I don't know - I just think he 
changed cinema so much that there was nowhere else 
for him to go. He had said all he could say with the 
giallo and horror." 



PRODUCED BY 
DARIO ARGENTO 



After the success of Down Of The Dead, Argento spotted 
an opportunity to lend his name to future productions. His 
friend Lamberto Bava, who had worked as an assistant 
director on both Inferno and Tenebrae, was given the nod 
for Demons (1985), which became an international hit. 
During the late Eighties, the country's horror tradition was 
largely seen to rest in the hands of Michele Soavi, another 
Argento disciple. When Bava opted out of directing 
Demons 3, the script was turned into the dreamy, 
Argento-produced The Church (1989), helmed by Soavi. 
The end result is one of the last great moments of the 
Italian horror trend. Argento and Soavi had less success 
with supernatural shocker The 5ec/ (1991), and the latter 
branched out to make the exemplary Cemetery Mon 
(1 994) before retiring from the gore-game. A meeting of 
the two most famous living legends, Argento and Lucio 
Fulci, was due to take place with Wax Mask (1 997), but 
when the Zombie Flesh-Eoters creator passed away, the 
gore-fest was made by effects wizard Sergio Stivaletti 
instead. Argento remained on board as producer, and 
would also oversee his daughter Asia's softcore epic of 
ego-stroking and kit-offery Scarlet Divo (2000). 





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113 












WWW.SCIFIN 



m0m 

^ f, . 



JOHN CARPENTER 






W GALLERY 

T WORDS STEVE WRIGHT 

JOHN CARPENTER 

BEHIND THE SCENES 

Check out some never- before-seen 
photos from the sets of the horror 
icon's best films 



114 1 






mi: 






From Halloween and The Fog to Escape From New York 
and Christine, John Carpenter has been involved in some 
of the most iconic and atmospheric films ever to hit the 
big screen. For the first time, Titan Books' On Set With 
John Carpenter shows never- before-seen snaps from 
behind the scenes of some of his best films, chronicled 
. by photographer and frequent collaborator 
Kim Gottlieb-Walker. 









ESCAPE FROM 
NEW YORK (1981) 

Carpenter shows them 
how it's done. 



JOHN CARPENT 





PAINTING 
NEW YORK 

James Cameron working 
on the skyline to make 
the Sepulveda Dam into 
Central Park. "What 
they didn't realise was 
that when the helicopter 
would drop things, they 
would fall behind the 
buildings," says Kim 
Gotti ieb-Walker. 







SEEING 

DOUBLE 

Dick Warlock (Kurt's 
long-time stunt double) 
with Kurt Russell. 




LIFE THOUGH 
A LENS 

Kurt Russell samples life 
behind the lens on Escape 
From New York. 










CHILLAXING 

Nick Castle suited up as 
Michael Myers. "Dr Pepper 
had donated a whole lot of 
drinks to the set, as long as 
they could get some shots 
showing it being used by the 
cast and crew, which became 
an assignment for me," 
reveals Kim Gottlieb-Walker. 



JOHN CARPENTER 



On Set With 
John Carpenter: The 
Photographs Of Kim 
Gottlieb-Walker, containing 
numerous candid photographs of 
the cast and crew of Carpenter's 
films both at work and play, is 
available to buy now, published 
by Titan Books and priced 
at £24.99. 



I U7 



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RETRO CLASSIC 

THE IRON GIANT 



IT WAS CONSIDERED A FLOP ON ITS RELEASE, BUT 
THE LOVE FOR THE ANIMATED FEATURE JUST KEEPS 
GETTING BIGGER. SCIFINOW LOOKS AT HOW THE 
IRON GIANT WITH A HEART OF GOLD BECAME A CULT 
CLASSIC WHILE TRYING NOT TO CRY TOO MUCH. . . 

WORDS POPPY- JAY PALMER 




THE IRON GIANT 




Film 

RUNNING TIME: 

86 minutes 
RELEASE DATE: 

6 August 1999 
DIRECTOR: 

Brad Bird 
WRITERS: Tim McCanlies, 
Ted Hughes 
CAST: Eli Marienthal, 
Christopher McDonald, 
Jennifer Aniston, 
Harry Connick Jr, John 
Mahoney, Vin Diesel 

About 

It's 1 957. A mysterious 
giant metal man crashes 
into the Atlantic, giving a 
pair of fishermen a scare. 
Back on land in a small 
town in Maine, a young 
but precocious boy named 
Hogarth Hughes stumbles 
across the giant in a 
forest. Instead of running 
screaming, lonely Hogarth 
stays and talks to it, and 
the two soon become firm 
friends. With the help of 
the local scrap yard owner, 
Hogarth keeps the giant 
hidden for fear of the 
authorities targeting it. But 
there's only so long they 
can keep a secret this big, 
especially when there's 
a CIA official on their 
trail, dead set on catching 
them out. 



As far as underrated movies go. 

Brad Bird's animation The Iron 
Giant is right up there with the best 
of them. If you haven't seen it, you 
need to stop reading right now and 
go and find a copy - not just to avoid 
spoilers over the next four pages, but 
because it really is that good. 

Animated films don't always do 
amazingly well at the box office when up 
against blockbusters, and to be fair, 1999 
was a pretty great year for cinema. The 
Iron Giant had the likes of The Sixth Sense, 
American Beauty, The Phantom Menace, 
Toy Story 2 and The Matrix to contend with. 
But its place on the highest-grossing chart 
for that year (78th, if you were wondering) 
means The Iron Giant can be considered a 
box-office bomb after it raked in a measly 
$31 million worldwide. 

Director Bird told IGN that it was "a mis- 
marketing campaign of epic proportions 
at the hands of Warner Bros." He said that 
they simply didn't realise what they had on 
their hands, and he was right. 

The first thing you have to understand 
about The Iron Giant is that there wasn't 
anything like it up to its release, and there 
hasn't been anything like it since. When 
put on the spot, the only thing that comes 
to mind in terms of similarities regarding 
the characters and plot is Lilo & Stitch. But 
still, they are so, so different. Like the Iron 
Giant himself, the film is one of a kind. 

Its uniqueness isn't what makes it such a 
good film; it's its heart. The Iron Giant has 
so, so much heart, which spans from the 
core of the movie: the friendship between 
Hogarth Hughes and the Giant. 

It's 1957, the height of the Cold War. 
Hogarth (Eli Marienthal) is a lonely but 
precocious nine-year old living in Maine. 
His father was an Air Force pilot who died 
in combat, and his widowed mother works 
long shifts at the local diner to make ends 
meet. Often picked on by the bigger kids, 
Hogarth's only friends are the squirrels, 
frogs and raccoons he 'rescues' and 



brings home in cardboard boxes. Then, 
one night, while out exploring in a forest 
with a torch strapped to the end of a toy 
gun for protection, Hogarth comes across 
a gargantuan metal man - an iron giant 
from outer space. Instead of running for 
the hills, he makes friends with the giant, 
finds him food and teaches him to talk. The 
rest, as they say, is history. 

At first, Hogarth is ecstatic at the 
prospect of having his own pet robot. 

"This must be the biggest discovery since 
television or something!" he says. But 
since he's a carefree kid with no concept 
of danger, it's not long before he sees the 
giant as something more than a robot 
butler. Even though Hogarth is a tiny speck 
compared to his new friend, he treats the 
giant like he's something that needs to be 
protected. He's got its back. 

The film doesn't preach as such, but 
it's filled with values and messages for 
kids, adults - and indeed, the human 
race in general. It's about warfare, family 
and friendship. But mainly, it's about 



acceptance; accepting who you are, 
accepting other people, accepting the 
world as it is. In the words of Hogarth's 
other new friend, beatnik scrap metal artist 
Dean McCoppin (Henry Connick Jr): "Who 
cares what these creeps think of you? They 
don't make you what you are; you do. You 
are who you choose to be." 

The story for the film came from English 
poet Ted Hughes' novel The Iron Man 
(not to be confused with the less cool and 
less definite Iron Mon). The novel's plot 
was similar: boy meets giant metal man, 
giant metal man meets boy, giant metal 
man saves the planet from annihilation. 

But there are also major differences. In 
the novel, the giant appears in the English 
countryside from apparently nowhere, 
and is quickly accepted as a member of 
the community. He promises not to cause 
trouble for the locals as long as the locals 
don't cause trouble for him. 

One of the things that makes The 
Iron Giant hit so close to home is that 
throughout most of the movie, the giant 



"THEY DON'T MAKE YOU WHAT 
YOU ARE; YOU DO" hogarth 




U8 



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THE IRON GIANT 

RETRO CLASSIC 





^CLASSIC ' 
QUOTES 



"IT'S BAD TO KILL. GUNS KILL. AND 
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A GUN. 
YOU ARE VYHAT YOU CHOOSE TO 
BE. YOU CHOOSE" 

HOGARTH HUGHES 



"I AM NOT A GUN" 

THE IRON GIANT 



"WELCOME TO DOWNTOWN 
COOLSVILLE! 
POPULATION: US" 

HOGARTH HUGHES 



"SOULS DON'T DIE" 

THE IRON GIANT 



"THERE ARE TV\^0 KINDS OF METAL IN 
THIS YARD: SCRAP AND ART. IF YOU 
GOTTA EAT ONE OF THEM, EAT THE 
SCRAP. NA^HAT YOU CURRENTLY HAVE 
- IN YOUR MOUTH - IS ARTI" 
DEAN MCCOPPIN 



"NO ATOMO... 
I SUPERMAN" 

THE IRON GIANT 



"YOU REALISE HOV\^MUCH 
HARDV\^ARE I BROUGHT OUT HERE? 
YOU JUST BLEV\^ MILLIONS OF 
UNCLE SAM'S DOLLARS OUT OF 
YOUR BUTT!" 

GENERAL ROGARD 



"SCREW OUR COUNTRY! 
I WANT TO LIVE!" 

KENTMANSLEY 



"THIS IS ESPRESSO, YOU 
KNOW? IT'S LIKE 
COFFEE-ZILLA" 

DEAN MCCOPPIN 



"FOR SOME REASON, THE ARMY IS 
- PARKED IN OUR FRONT YARD" 

M ANNIE HUGHES ® 



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RETRO CLASSIC 

THE IRON GIANT 



never experiences kindness from anyone 
but Hogarth, and later, Dean. Sure, he 
doesn't really meet anyone else for a long 
while, but that's because Hogarth knows 
that if anyone found out about his big 
metal friend hauled up in the woods, the 
army would crack out the heavy artillery 
and smite him faster than you can say 
'Coco-lax'. As soon as the giant comes into 
contact with humans that aren't Hogarth 
or Dean, he has a guided missile locked 
onto his coordinates. It's enough to make 
your heart weep. Before anyone can even 
consider accepting him at all, he has to 
prove his goodness by sacrificing himself, 
just because he's too different and bizarre 
for the tiny humans to even begin to 
understand. It makes you think: are giant 
metal men from outer space the monsters 
here, or are we? It's pretty heavy stuff for 
an animated kids' film. 

The novel's ending is also pretty different 
to the film, and a lot less heartbreaking. In 
Hughes' story, the giant ends up playing a 
game of chicken of sorts with a space- 
bat-angel-dragon creature that lands in 
Australia and is set on destroying Earth. 

The giant wins of course, saving humanity 



and achieving world peace in the process. 
The film, on the other hand, sees the giant 
flying up into space and squaring up to an 
atom bomb and breaking apart, but not 
before Hogarth can get in a tear-jerking "I 
love you". 

c 

In Bird's original storyboard, the film 
ended almost immediately after the giant's 
death. Screenwriter Tim McCanlies (who 
went on to be a writer on Smollville), 
thought that was too depressing, and 
for good reason. "You can't kill ET and 
then not bring him back," he said, and 
re-wrote the final act. This decision resulted 
in what is arguably the best scene of the 
entire movie: those final moments when 
dismembered parts read the sonar signal 
emitted from the giant's head and put 
themselves back together on a desolate 
Icelandic glacier. 

When you've never seen it before, and 
you don't know it's coming, that final scene 
induces the best feeling ever. The music 
swells and your heart fills back up with 
the same joy it felt when the genie was 






Despite his intimidating appearance, 
the Giant is a gentle soul. 



® BIG 
FRIENDLY 
GIANTS 

Some are hairy, some 
are gloomy, some are 
O made of wood 



GROOT 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014) 

He may be 




1 



FEZZIK 

THE PRINCESS BRIDE (1987) 



a thug and 
a contract 
killer, but he's the 
sweetest thug/ 
contract killer 
you could ever 
wish to meet. 

Left with the sight 
of a tiny version 
of him dancing, 
you'll never be 
the same again. 
We are Groot. 




LURCH 

THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1964) 



2 Gentle, 
dim-witted 
Fezzik has 
twice the giant 
credentials because 
he's played by the 
late great Andre 
the Giant. There 
isn't anything 
not to love about 
Fezzik as he helps 
Westley reunite with 
Buttercup before 
she is married. 




3 He's 

shambling 
and gloomy, 
but the Addams' 
manservant 
takes pride in 
his work and 
helps out 
wherever he 
can. He adds 
to the dynamic 
of the family 
and the films 
in general. 



120 



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THE IRON GIANT 

RETRO CLASSIC 




freed at the end o{ Aladdin, or when Sully 
finally saw Boo one last time at the end of 
Monsters Inc. It's worth watching for that 
one moment. 

Bird had set out with a story based 
around one main idea: 'What if a gun 
had a soul?' It was a solid idea backed 
up by an equally solid storyboard, and 
Bird got a fair bit of freedom, thanks to 
the trouble Warner Bros had with their 
previous animation. Quest For Comelot. 
The film was a nightmare with both costs 
and production, and made the company 
think about their commitment to future 
animations. In 2003, McCanlies said: 
"Quest For Comelot did so badly that 
everybody backed away from animation 
and fired people. Suddenly, we had no 
executive on Iron Giant, which was great, 
because Brad got to make his movie. 
Because nobody was watching." Bird 
described the film's situation as having 
"one-third of the money of a Disney 
or DreamWorks film, and half of the 
production schedule." The result was 
having the freedom to do more or less 
whatever he wanted. 

When it came to animating - a mixture 
of traditional animation and computer 
animation techniques - the animators 
soon found that it was extremely difficult 
trying to draw the metal protagonist in 
a fluid-like manner. Whatever they did, 
it was probably witchcraft. The fact that 



HAGRID 

HARRY POTTER (2001) 




4 Half giant, 
half wizard, 
Rubeus 

Hagrid is keeper 
of the keys 
and grounds 
of Hog warts, 
as well as the 
keys to our 
hearts, Harry's 
confidant, 
guardian and 
general lovely 
half-giant. 




the giant - a metal-faced man - seems 
to communicate more compassion, 
vulnerability and even humanity than 
most of the humans is a huge feat in itself. 
Somehow, the animators managed create 
a million expressions by only moving the 
giant's eyes and lower jaw. They gave a 
lump of metal a soul. 

The Iron Giant may have got off to a 
shaky start, but it has managed to become 
a crowd-pleasing cult classic, and it's easy 
to see why. It doesn't matter how old you 
are, if you're a 30-something who grew 
up with hand-drawn animation or a kid 
whose never even seen The Lion King. If 
you have a heart, you'll fall in love with The 
Iron Giant. If you don't, you're 
probably a robot. 

The Iron Giant is out now 
on DVD and Blu-ray. 





THE BFG 

THE BFG (1989) 



5 This list 

wouldn't be 
complete 
without Roald 
Dahl's original 
big friendly 
giant and 
whizzpopping 
king, the BFG 
himself. He's 
much nicer than 
the Maidmasher 
and the 

Fleshlumpeater.Q 




ET: THE EXTRA- 
TERRESTRIAL 

(1982) 

A lonely boy befriends an 
alien stranded on Earth, but 
things turn sour when the 
alien falls ill. 




THE 

INCREDIBLES 

(2004) 

Brad Bird's second sci-fi 
animation about a family of 
superheroes is smart, funny 
and oh-so cool. 



It's unlikely that we'll see anything 
like The Iron Giant again. 



YOUR TAKE ON 
THE CLASSIC 

WHAT YOU THOUGHT ©SCIFINOW 



"One of the best films of 
all time... but where is the 
Blu-ray edition, eh?" 

(g>HokusBloke 



"It was a really nice surprise 
for me. I saw it almost by 
chance on TV; never paid 
attention to it until then, but 
it impressed me." 
(^Scullywen 

"I saw it for the first time 
last year, and immediately 
made my whole family 
watch it. After I had 
stopped crying." 
(g>dametokillfor 

"We talk about the music all 
the time! It's brilliant." 

(^filmsonwax 



"I love The Iron Giant. It's 
well made and a great 
movie. Also, without 'Rock' 
would we have got such a 
good 'I am Groot'?" 
@solarstarchild 



"Loved it. I cried, but 
don't tell!" 

@TheCrowLady 



"I like the Iron Giant. It's 
one of the best sci-fi films 
of the 90s, and Vin Diesel 
gave him the same heart 

as Groot." _ 

@Jbames532 




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IFYOU LIKE THISYOU'LL LIKE... TITAN: AE (2000) //TREASURE PLANET (2002) //LILO & STITCH (2002) 









I 1 1 » J 1 1 






i 1 1 U J 


[ [ ll-l 







NIGHTBREED 

FLASHBACK 



NIGHTBREED 

IMAGE ANIMATION'S FORMER TEAM REMEMBERS THE 
MAKING OF CLIVE BARKER'S NIGHTBREED 

WORDS JOE NAZZARO 



It has long been considered a holy grail of 
modern horror filmmaking, but the original 
director's cut of Clive Barker's Nightbreed has 
pretty much become a cinematic urban myth. 
The remnants of Barker's original two and a 
half-hour version were dumbed down into a 
100-minute big-screen release, the extra bits 
discarded and lost over time, never to be seen 
again. Or so it seemed. 

This situation has changed in recent years, thanks 
first to the reassembled 'Cabal Cut' of 2010 (cobbled 
together from Barker's own aging VHS tapes) and 
now the fully restored Nightbreed director's cut from 
Morgan Creek and Shout/Scream Factory. The 
latter edition uses nearly 45 minutes of 'lost' footage 
to create a version of the film that is as close to the 
director's original vision as possible as you could get at 
the point in time. 

Perhaps the most exciting news about the director's 
cut is that it features a huge number of monsters 
excised from the 1990 version, and only seen in 
photographs or magazine articles. This is very good 
news indeed for the former team at Image Animation, 
who created hundreds of creatures of every size, shape 
and description, only to see many of them exiled to the 
cutting room floor. 

Formed in the mid- Eighties by creature effects artist 
Bob Keen, Image Animation was a company unlike 
any seen before or since in the UK. The average 
age of the crew members was 19 or 20, most with 
virtually no experience to speak of, but they were there 
because they wanted to make monsters. In an industry 
dominated by a small handful of veterans. Image was 
an unfocused shot of adrenaline. 

"Nick Dudman used to call us 'schoolboys rolled in 
flour', because we were all extremely young and we 
were all filthy," remembers Paul Jones, who came down 
to London from Shrewsbury at the age of 19 to work 
on a commercial with Keen. "There was definitely a 
frathouse mentality there; if you ask anybody about the 
games of flaming frisbee or the water fights, you would 
wonder how any work got done. The simple answer 
is nobody ever left. During Nightbreed, people stayed 
24/7. Guys used to sleep at the shop. 

"I remember Paul Spateri spending four days at the 
shop; he just went to sleep underneath his bench on 
a piece of foam, and then woke up again and carried 

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on working. I had never lived away from home; the 
workshop was my home. We didn't have a social life 
that wasn't workshop-orientated, so when a job ended 
we would just stay there and do our own projects." 

"It was certainly a magnet," agrees Steve Painter. "I 
was 20 when I started working there, and we were all 
more or less in the same age group, so we all became 
mates, and are to this day. I was just happy to be in the 
company of other people that had the same interests 
as me. When I was at secondary school, I was the odd 
one out, and suddenly I was surrounded by people who 
were into the same things I was into." 

In some ways, the careers of Barker and Image were 
inexorably linked in the mid-Eighties, beginning with 
Hellraiser, where the young filmmaker found a group 
of kindred spirits that could bring his off-kilter vision 
to life. "Clive was a dream to work with," remembers 



Keen, "because it was like mental ping-pong. He would 
hit an idea to you, and you would hit it back, so you 
would keep battling those ideas around." 

The unexpected success of /-/e//ro/ser turned Barker 
into a filmmaker to be reckoned with, and the 'team of 
schoolboys rolled in flour' suddenly became household 
names. It wasn't long before they started creating 
their next project together, which would be based on 
Barker's novella. Cabal. 

Nightbreed was an audacious idea - a monster 
movie in which the sympathetic inhabitants of Midian 
were the monsters themselves. And these creatures 
would be unlike any seen in film before. For several 
weeks, the Image team experimented with all 
manner of approaches to their characters. "We tried 
everything," Geoff Portass confirms. "We would bring 
people in, strip them off, glue them all over, cover them 



"PEOPLE WONDER HOW ANY WORK 
GOT DONE. THE SIMPLE ANSWER IS THAT 
NOBODY LEFT" 

PAUL JONES 







FLASHBACK 

NIGHTBREED 



with white polystynene balls and spray- paint them, ft 
never got used, but it was fascinating to create the effect 
of all these ^eyes' poking up, 

"I did one character that is briefly seen in the film, 
where I pL/t somebody in an enormous body sock and 
covered it with little bits of foam ond skeletol ribs, so 
this giant slug -like creature would crawl around, pulling 
itself along by its legs. We would use pieces from other 
movies, or find stuff in bins, because Clive wanted to 
populate this place with so rnany different characters " 
"When filming finally started," recalls Painter, 'W 
would turn up In the morning and Geoff would have a 
bin liner full of prosthetic pieces. We weren^t allowed to 
look at them; we would put our arms in and whatever 
we picked out had to be put on a student actor Every 
background character was more or less improvised on 
the day:" 

In sharp contrast to most creature films, where a 
character was built by a small army of artists and 
technicians, members of the NIghfbreed crew wers 
often given a character to take from initial design to 
final make-up application. "From my own experience 
and reading about the American way of doing things," 
notes Porta ss, "there would be a sculptor, a painter and 
an applier. On this film, Simon Sayce did Peloquin, 

Neill Gorton did Nardsse, I did Bophomet, Little John 
did Boone, etc. I think that allows you to take your time 
and grow with the characters, whereas if you've got 
somebody sculpting something and they think it's going 
to be taken from their bonds and given to somebody 
else to be detailed and applied, they don't necessarily 
put as much heart into it." 

The prospect of designing and building a character 
could be quite daunting for some of the relatively 
inexperienced young crew. "I knew I was going to be 
doing Boone," remembers John 'Little John' Comnicon, 
"and was quite worried about it at that point. The make- 
up was done by me and Chris Halls - now a famous 
director named Chris Cunningham - but he was o 
teenager then, and we went through hell together. 

"Every day, we would get up, do some very precise 
and tricky things to somebody's face, take it off at the 
end of a very long day, drop Chris off, go home, get 



* (Top left) A life cast of Sheffer used to sculpt fioone^s 

make -up; (Above) Frtck, one of the background exitas, 

124 1 



Vasty Moses, suit by Little 
John, make-up by Chrts Halls^ 



A then ^teenage Chrl$ HolU 
checks o wouncJ on Sheffer. 



pains to moke sure every one of my armpit hairs 
had glue on it. I couldn't get rid of the glue for 
weeks ofterwords " 

Robbie Drake was pressed into service as a creature 
that was literally stuck to the floor and covered in slime. 
Harrison played a dog-mon who gets shot in the 
neck, although his appearance was relegated to the 
making- of book. Foul Spoteri, who painted the Decker 
masks for David Cronenberg's character, got to stand 
in for the director- turned actor in one scene in which his 
stunt double was significantly worse for the wear. And 
Cormicon got to play a blue-skinned hermaphrodite 
complete with prosthetic breasts. 'They were originally 
made for an Eighties pop star," he explains, "for a movie 
in which his chorocter was a hermaphrodite, and they 
were [ust a test, because he didn't get his movie in the 
end. I think it was Clive who suggested, 'Let's get John In 
them and in front of the camera!' but I was really proud 
of those breasts/' 

While Barker and the Image team were putting some 
amazing images on film, it v^s becoming obvious 
that the director's vision was not what the studio had 
in mind. Barker wanted to create a story in which the 
audience could relate to and sympathise with the 
monsters, but the powers-thot-be were looking for a 
run-of-the-mill slasher film. "We were within weeks of 
wrapping," remembers Keen, "and at thort point, it was 
the best movie I hod ever worked on. And then we came 
back here and did maybe six weeks more shooting, and 

www.scifinow.co.uk 



a tew hours of sleep, and do It dl over again the next 
day, I remember sitting In the make-up room waiting for 
Craig Sheffer to arrive, and kind of hoping he wouldn't 
turn up that day. When I think about it now, I was way 
out of my depth!" 

That feeling was definitely shared by o number 
of Cormican's compatriots, many of who had plenty 
of enthusiasm but relatively little experience. "What 
we were was a bunch of low- budget chancers," 
concedes Gorton, who would found Millennium FX 
15 years later "There were a lot of people who would 
becorne real talents, but at the time, we were a bunch of 
kids with vary little technical knowledge, who were being 
poid appallingly. 

"At age 18 I was a runner, and by the time I was 19 I 
was doing lead characters on Nightbreed. It really was 
a bizarre mix of over-enthusiasm and slave labour; it's a 
miracle that anything came of ii You were just handed 
something to do, and you had to do it. That gave me 
massive opportunities that I wouldn't have got anywhere 
else, but by default, reolly " 

"I think nny biggest jump within the company was on 
Nighibneed" claims Jones. "! had essentially been hired 
as a painter and construction guy, but I really wanted to 
get into animatronics, so I asked Bob If I could borrow 
some mechanical stuff from the storage bins, and went 
home one weekend and created an animatronic head. 

I brought it in on Monday and showed it to Bob, who 
said, 'We have these characters called the Berserkers, 
and I'm going to give them to you!' so that was o huge 
undertaking, because I had never built a creature suit in 
my life!" 

Not only did the Image team have to create an 
army of creatures; they often had to play them as 
well. Jones had to put on a sweat-soaked Berserker 
suit himself after Barker decided he needed another 
shot. "We didn't even hove time to disinfect the suits!" 
he recalls with disgust, "! was also in a flashback 
sequence of some characters getting tortured during 
the Inquisition, so you see a werewolf tied up on 
a big cross, and that was me. The reason I was in 
that suit was because nobody wanted to wear it. It 
had to be glued to my body, so Neill went to great 









"YOU WEREN'T AN 
OUTSIDER, THAT'S 
WHAT I LOVED 
ABOUT lAAAGE 
ANIMATION" 



STEVE PAINTER 



then they went to LA for another three or four weeks 
shooting, and then they did more/' 

"I remember coming to the end of the original shoot 
and saying, 'If I hear the names Boone or Lori ever 
again, it will be too soon!" continues Jones, "because 
Nighfbreed was like a year from when we first started 
to when we finished. What happened with the reshoots 
was Clive basically came in and said, 'We need some 
characters I can feature, and we need them now!' so 
we were off and running again. 

"I don't think that was the right decision," counters 
Portass, "because I felt we started to get into corny 
catchphrases, which was the Hollywood influence 
of making it more palatable to the lowest common 
denominator. When they brought David Cronenberg 
back for the reshoots, his hair had grown, so you watch 
the movie and think, 'Come on!' They also pushed the 
psychotic angle a bit too much. Clive's original cut had 
been far more about this monster society, so I think we 
needed to see more of those little vignettes that really 
would have worked." 

With Nighfbreed: The Director's Cut finally seeing 
the light of day, there is a sense of vindication for the 
Image Animation team, but it has taken a quarter of 
a century to finally arrive at that point. "I think it was 
very intimidating for Bob and Geoff when they were 
given Nighfbreed," reflects Jones, "just because of the 
amount of stuff we had to create, and I feel the movie 
suffered for that, because it was difficult to focus on one 



particular thing. We had animatronic creatures, stop- 
motion creatures, subtle make-ups, elaborate make-ups; 
we did the entire spectrum for that movie, so it's what 
happens if you put every colour of paint on a canvas. 
There has to be a focal point, and to my mind I don't 
think Nighfbreed had one." 

"I loved being at Image," adds Painter. "To this day, I 
count those days as my happiest time, and I don't think 
I've had fun since, not to that degree. We were being 
paid to do our hobby, and getting to work with guys who 
were on the same wavelength. You weren't an outsider, 
so that's what I loved about Image Animation. I miss it." 



Clive Barker with the Image Animation team, many 
of them still in make-up as extras in the film. 




NIGHTBREED 



FLASHBACK 




THE LEGEND 
OF GREYSTOKE 

HOW THE NIGHTBREED CREW 
LITERALLY RAIDED THE SKIPS 
OF THE EIGHTIES APE MOVIE 

With SO many creatures to build. Keen and 
his crew were not above occasionally raiding 
a skip for raw materials, but there was one 
incident in particular that quite literally 
changed the look of the film. "What happened 
was Warners had thrown away all the apes 
from Greystoke in a skip," explains Harrison, 
"so we took them all back to the workshop." 

"Everything had been dumped," continues 
Gorton. "All the suits, everything. It was the 
most shocking thing I've ever seen, and it just 
happened to be the skip right outside Image 
Animation, so if you look closely, half of the 
creatures in Nighfbreed are made out of 
chimp asses! There were boxes of them, and 
they all had this slightly weird-looking shape, 
SO it was amazing, the number of things that 
got built out of chimp asses." 

"There's one character in the film with 
snakes coming out of his chest," claims 
Harrison, "and that chest is a Greystoke 
stomach. At one point there is a creature 
lying dead on the floor, and that body is a 
Greystoke ape. There are even tombstones 
with ape heads on them." 

"There's also the autopsy chimp that was 
now in our workshop," says Gorton, "so there 
we were, all these snotty-nosed kids who 
thought we knew what they were doing, and 
then you look at this piece and you're in shock 
at the quality of it. And you're in even worse 
show when Bob starts stripping the fur off 
it, gluing something over the face, painting 
it purple and dragging it on set. You can't 
believe what just happened to this iconic 
movie prop, thinking, 'Oh God, make it stop!'" 

"I did save some fibreglass heads," notes 
Harrison, "and I think Chris Halls took one 
of the close-up cable-controlled mechanical 
heads. There was also a film we later did 
called Chimera that Little John supervised, 
and Bob got that job because he took one of 
the Carla animatronic heads to a meeting and 
said, 'This is what we can do for ChimeraV" 



\ 



f 



r 

k 



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125 






THE SCIFINOW 
TWIN PEAKS QUIZ 



SEASON THREE WAS RECENTLY ANNOUNCED, BUT WHAT DO YOU 
REMEMBER ABOUT HOW IT ALL STARTED? TEST YOUR TWIN PEAKS 
KNOWLEDGE WITH OUR DAMN FINE QUIZ... 



Wf LCOME TO TWIN PEAKS 



1 . Who is the first to find Laura Palmer's body in the 
pilot episode? 

2 . Who are Sheriff Harry Truman's two deputies? 

3 . What colour is The Man From Another Place's suit? 

4 . Who does Special Agent Dale Cooper record voice 
notes for throughout the series? 

5 . Which high-school student has a crush on Cooper? 



POPULATION: 51,201 



6 . What is the name of the town's brothel-slash-casino? 

7 . Where does Shelley Johnson work as a waitress? 



8 . Where did Laura's psychiatrist Dr Lawrence Jacoby 
grow up? 

9 . What is the name of the hotel owned by 
Benjamin Horne? 

10 . What is the name of the neglected bungalow 
located outside the town? 



ENJOY YOUR STAY 



1 1 . What is the name of Laura Palmer's doppelganger 
cousin, also played by Sheryl Lee? 

12 . What is the Log Lady's real name? 

13. Which musician plays Phillip Jeffries in the spin-off 
movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me"^ 



14 . What is the name of the myna bird that was shot in 
episode six? 

1 5. What religion does Special Agent Cooper practice? 



THE FOURTH PEAK 



1 6. What date did the first episode air? 

17. Who composed the show's opening music? 

1 8. What is the real name of the waterfall featured in 
the show's external shots? 

19 . What was the show's working title? 

20 . What is the subtitle of the tie-in novel The 
Autobiography of FBI. Special Agent Dole Cooper, 
published in 1999? 




DIDN'T HE/SHE DO WELL! arbitrary scoring systeagfl 



SPECIAL AGENT 
DALE COOPER 

After a morning coffee and 
a slice of cherry pie, you are 
pretty much invincible. You've 
not been in Twin Peaks long, 
but you already know the town 
L like the back of your hand. 



THE LOG LADY 

A lot of people don't 
understand you, but you 
understand your clairvoyant log, 
and that's all the matters. The 
log's predictions often come 
down to nothing, but a little 
.thing like that won't stop you. 



BOBBY BRIGGS 

You come across as mean, 
annoying and weird. You 
need to grow up for people to 
take you seriously. Hold back 
on the barking and outbursts 
- it's this behaviour that 
makes you bad at quizzes. 



LAURA PALMER 

You may be a central 
character, but turning up dead 
at the start of the pilot is kind of 
lame. Your murder has been 
your downfall in more ways 
that one. Your rep has been 
damaged forever. 



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126 



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